Many parts of the world have been eagerly waiting for the United States’ presidential elections because the result has a number of impacts. The voting was finished, and the Democrat Joe Biden was announced president-elect, but President Trump insisted that he would challenge the exercise legally because he was not convinced with the way the election was conducted. Currently, the case has not been determined, and it is safe to state that either of them has a chance of becoming the U.S. President. These elections have significant impacts on the Middle East, and the effect is different depending on the winner of the vote.
First, the two candidates have a different stance on Iran and Turkey, which will determine this election’s effect on these two countries. One possible impact is the likelihood of Biden following Obama’s footsteps, to return to the nuclear agreement with Iran (Salacanin, 2020). This will be a response to Trump’s sanctions but must balance the pressure from the resistance in the U.S. Senate and the Congress. According to Alonso (2020), this will be in a bid to mitigate the security risks which the U.S. forces face in Iraq and reach a rapprochement with Tehran. On the other hand, a win for Trump would mean an extension of Iran’s existing sanctions. Turkey is also expecting improved relations with the United States should Biden win the polls. Therefore, the elections have a significant impact on Iran and Turkey.
Second, Israel and Palestine will face similar consequences under either Trump or Biden as the president. The conflict between these two countries has been ongoing for some time now. Trump welcomed and hosted the signing of Abraham agreements, but Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister, believes the relations between the U.S. and Israel will remain robust and firm, regardless of the election results (Alonso, 2020). However, Palestine is likely to lose if Trump is re-elected because he has already recognized Jerusalem, and not Tel Aviv, as Israel’s capital which was against Palestine’s wish. Similarly, if Biden wins, he is unlikely to restore Tel Aviv to its former administrative position. The Democrat is expected to oppose the unilateral annexation of land in Israel (Collard, 2020). However, both leaders have expressed their support for Israel in recent times, but Biden’s camp has been skeptical of the Republican concessions given to the Middle Eastern country, including the “Deal of the Century” (Salacanin, 2020). Although Israel seems to be in a comfort zone regarding the U.S. presidential elections, Biden might be more accepted there than his Republican challenger.
Third, there is a small difference between Trump’s and Biden’s stances on the U.S.’s relations with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). The Gulf and the United States have many shared interests, involving energy and oil trade; hence, both leaders cannot wish to mar this relationship (Alonso, 2020). Thus, whoever wins this election will not be expected to have a significant effect on these two states. Mostly, Trump has shown greater support to these two Gulf states than any other in the region. However, there is a fear that Biden’s win will lead to the upending of the current policies which Trump’s administration has established between the U.S. and these countries (Collard, 2020). Therefore, the UAE and the KSA are likely to benefit more if Trump wins than if Biden does, owing to their close relations.
In conclusion, the United States’ presidential elections mean much to the Middle Eastern countries. If Trump is re-elected, the U.S and the Middle Eastern states have four other years of cooling relations with the Gulf region. Conversely, Biden’s victory will imply a replica of Obama’s administration and adopt more nuanced policies, including reviving the nuclear agreement with Iran. However, Israel wishes either candidate to win because the country had good relations under the governments of both Trump and Obama, whose policies Biden will replicate. Iran and Palestine are expected to suffer dire consequences if Trump wins, but it will be better placed if Biden triumphs.
Alonso, L. (2020). How will the US elections affect the Middle East? Atalayar.
Collard, R. (2020). The Middle East, like everyone else, has a lot riding on the U.S. election. Foreign Policy.
Salacanin, S. (2020). The impact of the U.S. presidential election on the Middle East. WRMEA.