U.S. and Saudi officials said the Joe Biden administration has backtracked on its threats to retaliate against Saudi Arabia for oil production cuts and is moving towards increased security coordination with it to counter Iran in 2023.
Officials have pointed to signs of improved cooperation between the United States and Saudi Arabia in recent weeks as gasoline prices in the United States have fallen, US midterm elections have unexpectedly turned in favor of the Democrats, and concerns over Iran have risen.
Officials from the Biden administration told the Wall Street Journal that “the White House has no plans now to continue threats (against Saudi Arabia), and instead officials from the two countries are moving forward with new military and intelligence projects and delicate efforts to contain Iran amid stalled efforts to revival of the international nuclear deal” with Tehran.
Officials also noted “ongoing military cooperation, which has helped maintain political relations after months of unrest.”
The newspaper pointed out that “In December, the Biden administration and Saudi officials worked to block a bill in Congress that would cut off the limited intelligence support the United States is providing to Riyadh in the Yemen war. And in November, the Biden administration told the US court that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s status as the current head of the government of Saudi Arabia protects him from a civil lawsuit filed against him by the fiancée of (late) Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
The newspaper stated that “In the same month, the two sides (the United States and Saudi Arabia) exchanged intelligence that Iran was preparing for an impending attack on Saudi Arabia and developed a coordinated response,” noting that “Saudi fighter jets were escorting longstanding American bombers several once crossed their national airspace last year in maneuvers with other Washington allies, including Israel.
She said: “The thaw in relations between the two countries comes at a time when the Biden administration is seeking to reshape the US military presence in the Middle East by assembling a security umbrella stretching from Israel across the Persian Gulf.”
Source: Wall Street Journal.