US President Donald Trump did it: He withdrew from the Iranian nuclear deal. In perhaps one of the least surprising decisions of the last six months it was a decision that was expected to happen by almost everyone that follows the president’s decisions.
Israel and Saudi Arabia will of course be pleased with the decision, lobbying since the onset of the accord itself for it to be scrapped. However, what Trump’s decision today seems to also indicate is how much more so his administration is in line with Saudi Arabian and Israeli interests vis a vis Iran, compared to his predecessor: Barack Obama.
In almost every issue important to Israeli and Saudi geopolitical interests they find a loyal partner in the current US administration. The only exception is Trump’s desire to withdraw from Syria. However, Trump has yet to withdraw from Syria and mixed signals have become almost akin to US policy coming out of Syria in the last couple of months. These moves take places as Trump’s decisions lead to clear divisions in Europe, America’s former closest allies. While America can still rely on support amongst the French and the British, a clear chill is sweeping over the continent. It is clear that by the end of Trump’s term, the geopolitical sands will have shifted.
As much hype as the withdrawal will bring, on the ground little changes. Israel continues to strike at an Iran that continues to entrench itself in Syria. Iran has told other parties that they may still oblige to the accord even without American backing if there is a global consensus without the US to do so. Likely tomorrow there will not be a new war in the Middle East.
Nevertheless, In the future, America will have a freer hand to handle Iran without being bound. It is this unshackling that is significant, and with that a mask of allegiances is being shaped in the Middle East.