Being tougher on Iran is Biden’s key to Saudi Arabia-Israel normalization: Pompeo
US President Joe Biden must adopt a much tougher stance against Iran to convince Saudi Arabia to normalize ties with Israel, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said.
“I'm convinced there will be many more countries joining the Abraham Accords and one day the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will as well,” Pompeo said in an interview with the Telegraph.
Pompeo was one of the main diplomats involved in the US brokered Abraham Accords which saw four Arab countries normalize ties with Israel – the UAE, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco.
After the UAE and Bahrain restored full diplomatic relations with Israel in 2020, there was wide speculation on whether Saudi Arabia would follow suit.
At the time, Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan said the Kingdom remained open to fully normalize ties with Israel on the condition of a Palestinian state and a peace plan between the Israelis and the Palestinians.
Pompeo, Donald Trump’s former chief diplomat, believes that Biden’s administration may be able to convince Saudi Arabia to sign the Abraham Accords if it adopted a harsher stand against Iran.
“There are a couple other pieces to the puzzle that they need to see - they need to see strong American leadership, they need to see an America that they know will support them, most particularly with respect to the challenge presented by Iran,” Pompeo said.
Iran is viewed by both Israel and Saudi Arabia as the biggest threat to peace in the Middle East.
Pompeo wants the US to take action against Tehran and its network of proxies – Shia militias in the region such as Hamas in the Gaza Strip, the Houthis in Yemen, Hezbollah in Lebanon and Kata'ib Hezbollah in Iraq.
“The Biden Administration within weeks had Iranian rockets flying into Israel from the Gaza Strip and today, this week for sure, you have Iranian missiles flying from Yemen into Saudi Arabia. Those aren't the conditions that breed the capacity for nations to make such an historic decision to enter an agreement such as the Abraham Accords,” he added.