A senior US official recently declared that a normalisation deal between Israel and Saudi Arabia is “a national security interest of the United States”. The Biden Administration is seeking foreign policy wins before its diplomatic capacity is subsumed by the presidential election cycle. Though much of its focus remains on a Russian-Ukrainian war with no end in sight, it has turned its attention to the Middle East. Recognising both that the region is changing, possibly dramatically, and that a new era of global multi-polarity is approaching, the US now eyes progress on the Iranian and Saudi fronts – both with profound implications for Israel.
This BICOM paper assesses US motivations, the Saudi price for normalisation, and Israeli calculations.