US has to accept its policies insanity toward Iran, Venezuela

TEHRAN, Jun. 12 (MNA) – Stating that Biden needs Iran and Venezuela besides Saudi Arabia's oil, Prof. Askari said that the US will have to eventually come to terms with the insanity of its policies toward Venezuela and Iran.

Riyadh-Washington relations soured after Biden entered the White House in January 2021, after he vowed to turn Saudi Arabia into a marginalized and isolated country during his campaign. Relations between the two countries have soured since issues such as human rights, Jamal Khashoggi's assassination and the Yemeni war were raised.

While Biden focused on human rights issues in Saudi Arabia at the beginning of his presidency, US political analysts now expect the situation to change and other issues to be addressed by the president.

Now analysts say Washington's view of Riyadh has changed, and the US president is seeking to strengthen ties with Saudis to achieve a number of specific goals during his upcoming visit to Riyadh.

Although US President announced at a press conference that his trip to Saudi Arabia has not been finalized, the American media insisted that the trip would take place and the reports on his imminent visit to Saudi Arabia and talks with Saudi Arabian leaders sparked analysis and reactions in the world.

While the American media focuses on human rights issues and sees Biden's trip as contrary to his election promises, the media and analysts in the Arab world are paying attention to the goals of the US President during the visit. 

To know more about the issue, we reached out to Professor Hossein Askari, Economist, Emeritus Professor of Business and International Affairs at George Washington University.

Following is the text of the interview with him:

US president Biden is likely to visit Saudi Arabia in order to mend ties with the kingdom despite his campaign slogans and claims against Riyadh. Why Biden has decided to put aside his previous stance toward the kingdom?  

Inflation is devastating Biden’s poll numbers. He is sinking rapidly and as he sinks he is pulling down the chances of Democrats in November’s elections. As of now, the Democrats would certainly lose their majority in the House and maybe even the  Senate. He needs to slow inflation down. It’s that simple. But remember as the US Fed raises interest rates to also lower inflation, Biden has two more problems looming. A recession. Also, a tumbling stock market is reducing people’s savings and retirement income. Biden is in a bind!
Was Biden’s previous stance toward the kingdom regarding democracy and human rights just a tactic to put pressure on Riyadh to get milk from the cow as Trump said? Or the recent developments in Ukraine have forced Biden to do so?

I think Biden meant what he said before. He and most Americans abhor the Saudi regime. He was being honest, but given the war in Ukraine and the limitations of NATO sanctions on Russia, as a politician, he has little choice but to beg. Trump is dying to say that Putin would not have invaded if he were still president and that MBS would have listened to him long ago and increased oil output to the maximum.

If Saudi Arabia increases oil production, how will it affect US policy towards Venezuelan oil?

Look, just Saudi Arabia increasing output by less than 1 MBD will not do much at the US pump. And even then, it will take a few months for pump prices to come down in the US, Biden needs to get a total output increase of about 3-4 MBD. From where? Besides 2 MBD from Saudi Arabia, he needs Iran, UAE and Venezuela. But Venezuela will be slower to come on line. I think it all depends on what happens with output elsewhere before Biden realizes that the US needs to be more realistic about Iran and Venezuela. But please remember that the US producers are also not willing to increase their output. They love the higher prices! 

The US will have to eventually come to terms with the insanity of its policies towards Venezuela and Iran. I think Iran will the more difficult problem because of the Israeli lobby, and even the Arab lobby in the US but it is Iran that can ramp up its oil output over the next two or so years by over 2 MBD and most important it is Iran that can supply piped natural gas to Europe and expand its LNG exports dramatically. But US politicians are subject to intense lobbying and I am afraid that Biden and the Democrats don’t have the mettle to stand up to them.

Interview by Zahra Mirzafarjouyan

News Code 187849


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