US President Joe Biden’s administration has temporarily frozen for review a massive package of F-35 jets to the United Arab Emirates and arms to Saudi Arabia, it was announced on Wednesday. New US administration has already signalled, it plans to end support for the Saudi-led, UAE-backed offensive in Yemen, which is facing a humanitarian disaster. A State Department spokesperson said the administration is “temporarily pausing the implementation” of several defense sales to allow incoming leadership an opportunity to demonstrate the administration’s commitments to transparency and good governance. The Spokesperson further said that the move is also aimed at “ensuring US arms sales meet our strategic objectives of building stronger, interoperable and more capable security partners.
The US action has multi-dimensions ranging from Democrats more leniency to Human rights, US interests in GCC Countries, Israel factor, and dealing with Iran in respect of Yemen and JCPOA. One can term, it as a coercive approach to maximize US benefit out of other obligations. The two main objective of US administration in the region was to deal with Iran and to protect Israel and its interests in the region, these two basic pillars will support the whole US interests including military, political and trade/ financial.
Starting from pre-Abraham Accords, most of GCC countries were feeling security threat from Iran due to Iranian aggressive posture during last more than a year, during which Iran allegedly has targeted oil fields and related facilities in the region. Gulf Countries were in search of some arrangement and military hardware which can guaranteed their security from Iranian threat. The Trump administration was pitching GCC for normalization of relations with Israel. President Trump has this item in his bag and his Jew son in law and Senior Advisor to the President Jared Kushner was vigorously working on this project. United States policy makers orchestrated a formula to unite all GCC countries and Israel against a common threat posed by Iran, this will open a way for setting up diplomatic and trade relations of GCC countries with Israel and will help American in containing Iran in the region.
As per reports, provision of F-35 Stealth fighter jets to UAE was a condition for Abraham Accords concluded between Israel, UAE and Bahrain on November 06, 2020. The Fighter jets sale deal was announced shortly after the finalization of accords. On other hand, Israel also agreed to US sale deal of F-35 to UAE, because it got multi-prong success through this strategy which include establishment of diplomatic and trade relations with two important GCC states, forging rift among Palestinians and GCC countries, creating a defense block against Iran and appeasing America for being agreed to arms sale to Middle East Countries. In the same go, United States assured Israel to provide it latest weaponry to maintain an upper military edge in the region. Now, the Trump administration has gone, and new US Biden’s administration is in office, which argued to fulfill Israel desires and demands necessary for its security and survival.
In present, scenario, Israel is playing its cards in other way, by halting provision of F-35 to UAE by the US, Israel may offer to UAE for provision of Israeli defense shield or a bilateral defense agreement, or most likely US add some new strings attached with the use of F-35 Stealth Fighter Jets, what soever, it will be related to and initiated by the Israel.
On other hand, in the case of Saudi Arabia, Joe Biden and Democrats had already criticized the Saudi war in Yemen, which caused a humanitarian crisis in the country. The years long Yemen war has exhausted the Kingdom in kind of men and material resources. Kingdom is in dire need of latest weaponry to achieve a better position for onward political bargain with Houthis and their supporter Iran. Israel want to utilized this situation in its favor in a way, that, US administration will attached some condition for provision of this so-called cleared arms deal, which may result in recognition of Israel, ease in human rights in the country and similar demands in respect of Yemen.
The next prey of the United States and Israel is Iran, they will deal it with same tools. Because Biden administration is reviewing all the pacts concluded by the Trump administration, therefore, Iran will not react swiftly to this routine move, further, it may get some positive dividends by the US intervention in the Yemen issue. Here, United Stats will add more strict measures for monitoring by IAEA’s inspectors or add some new Iranian installations in to the agreement or demand protection of human rights or freedom of expression in the country. However, the stage has been set and the discourse will be clearly exposed in next few weeks.