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Putin’s Middle East Trip Underscores Biden’s Humiliation

Posted on Wednesday, July 20, 2022
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by Daniel Berman
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AMAC Exclusive – By Daniel Berman

Middle East
Russian President Vladimir Putin with Saudi Arabian Prince Mohammed bin Salman

Hot on the heels of Joe Biden’s humiliating Middle East tour, a different international gathering took place in the region this week. Russian President Vladimir Putin, in one of his first foreign visits since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, flew to Tehran for a summit with Iranian leaders. Also present was Turkish President Recip Tayyip Erdogan, who met privately with the Russian President – despite Turkey’s status as a NATO member. If Biden’s visits to Israel and Saudi Arabia were an illustration of how much the Biden administration has sacrificed America’s standing with its traditional allies, the Tehran conference was further demonstration of how little Biden and his team got for their betrayals with the audience they were trying to court, the Iranians.

Far from expressing interest in a new relationship with the United States, Tehran has hewed closer to Russia since Biden took office. When Russia invaded Ukraine, the Biden administration bragged to the press that this would allow the United States to divide Russia and Iran by painting Russia’s actions and demands (namely, that ending sanctions on Russia were a prerequisite to Russian participation in a renewed “Nuclear Deal”) as holding Iran’s interests hostage to Russia’s.

This effort to woo Tehran was to no avail. Iran’s leadership pocketed their concessions from Washington, as they always have, and then fell in behind Russia, threatening to mobilize against Azerbaijan when it threatened Russia’s ally Armenia in the early months of the war, and most recently offering to transfer to Russia Iranian drones which had been used in Yemen. While a few lone voices in Iran did condemn the Russian invasion, including former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has reinvented himself as an opposition leader, they were sidelined.

Iran’s invitation to Putin this week represents the regime’s determination to show that the region can and will function without the United States. Iran wanted to make clear that its goals were not to reenter the U.S.-centric international system as the Biden administration had hoped, but to destroy it. In a joint announcement before the visit, the two states pledged to drop the use of the U.S. Dollar in all future transactions between the two states. Also inked was a $40 billion agreement with Gazprom, the Russian state gas company, for energy cooperation, which seems to designed to tell Biden’s team they need to “up their bid.”

As for the presence of NATO member Turkey in Iran, the visit is an extraordinary sign of the degree to which American prestige has already declined under the Biden administration. Turkey and Iran are adversaries. They support opposite sides in Syria, and in the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan, and while relations have been difficult on occasion under Erdogan, Turkey recognizes Israel while Iran makes the destruction of the Jewish state one of the core principles of its foreign policy. All of these issues combined to make the meeting between Erdogan and Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, the day before Putin arrived, rather tense, as they clashed on all of these issues.

Which raises the question: why did Erdogan go to Iran at all? The answer, most likely, is that he felt he had to. If Erdogan believed he could rely on the United States to deter Iran and support Turkey’s interests in Syria and the Caucuses, there would be no need to consider Iran’s wishes, much less subject himself to what press reports paint as an unpleasant two hours. Yet because Erdogan likely does not believe he can rely on Biden, having watched how Biden abandoned Saudi Arabia, ignored Israel, and perhaps most importantly, tried to isolate Hungary, Poland, and Brazil, the Turkish leader, who faces his own contentious reelection next year, presumably concluded that Biden might abandon him at any time. This would suggest that Turkey should avoid committing to a confrontation with Iran that the Biden administration itself was not committed to.

If Turkey has doubts about the commitment of the Biden administration to oppose Iran’s ambitions, the same reservations about the U.S. and E.U. willingness to sustain NATO are likely motivating Erdogan to keep options open with the Russian President. While Turkey supplied some of Ukraine’s most effective drones and closed the Straits of Gallipoli to warships, including Russian ones from Syria, Turkey has to have kept one eye on how unwilling many in Europe and the United States were to do anything that would risk an open conflict with Russia. If Turkey, under prompting from Washington and Kyiv, used force to block Russia’s access to the Mediterranean, and Russia responded by attacking Turkey, would America respond with arms, or an actual willingness to use its own forces to defend Turkey under the NATO umbrella, even at the risk of nuclear war?

The matter has been brought to a head by a recent controversy over Russian efforts to ship “stolen” Ukrainian grain through Turkish waters. Ukraine is one of the world’s leading food producers, and recently a Russian ship arrived in Turkey carrying grain from occupied regions of Ukraine collected by Russian collaborationist authorities. At the request of the Ukrainian government Turkey seized the ship, but has now come under pressure both from Russia, and from countries in Africa and the Middle East facing unrest over rising food prices, to reach some agreement on allowing such shipments to pass to market.

Turkey has sought, in vain, not encouragement from Washington, but concrete promises of support. Absent such promises, Turkey tried to gain Ukrainian consent to some sort of deal with Putin whereby the two governments would share the proceeds, hosting calls with both Putin and Zelenskyy last weekend. With no movement, it seems likely that Erdogan in his meeting with Putin in Tehran will agree to unilaterally impose some sort of agreement on Zelenskyy in which the ships will pass and Ukraine can either take a portion of the proceeds or not.

In summary, the settlement of the fate of the Black Sea, Syria, and the Caucuses will be taking place without the United States. And not only was Biden forced to beg the Saudis, ineffectually, to provide him with oil last week, but his prestige is so low that this week, Iran—which his advisers had dreamed of wooing away from Russia—is hosting Putin, while the leader of the most powerful military in NATO after the United States feels the need to join them.

There could be no more vivid evidence of how the Biden administration—and by extension, America—is perceived in the Middle East than that.

Daniel Berman is a frequent commentator and lecturer on foreign policy and political affairs, both nationally and internationally. He holds a Ph.D. in International Relations from the London School of Economics. He also writes as Daniel Roman.  

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PaulE
PaulE
1 year ago

The author is stating the obvious. As one international power declines, another rises up to fill the void. Power abhors a vacuum. We are NOT insured our position of world leadership. It must constantly be validated or we will be replaced by another. The past 18 months have demonstrated the United States, led by a dementia patient being manipulated by a cadre of socialists, is curently NOT up to the task on multiple fronts. We are currently a laughing stock on the world stage. Something that doesn’t inspire either confidence from our allies or fear from our enemies.

Our replacement won’t be Russia, as it is a one trick pony (oil and natural gas production constituting its sole economic source of power). Russia is primarily a regional player at this point and is completely reliant on alliances with other nations (China, India, Iran, Turkey) for the influence it has. China on the other hand, remains the likely successor to the United States as the world’s lone superpower, if we don’t rapidly get our sh*t together both economically and militarily.

Stephen Russell
Stephen Russell
1 year ago

We NEED Our own Energy

mark
mark
1 year ago

The almighty DEMORATS.. are doing a fine job of tearing this country down and pushing the dictator enemy’s together, i cant think for one minute that the republican so called leaders didnt see this coming ,,

Jeb
Jeb
1 year ago

Joeblow and his cabal have zero understanding of history in the Middle East, directly related to their lack of education regarding the area. I guess it follows if you spend your adult life burning history books, you wouldn’t have insight.

Jane CA
Jane CA
1 year ago

It would please me to no end to see that NO more money be given to Russia( Space ) the Middle East for Oil, No more money to China for virus development, and so on. So much of Amercian taxpayers dollars are freely given to our enemies it makes me sick.

Look at history, why did Rome fall ? Too many unemployed or under employed, to many on the dole. Today we are the slaves to Biden’s Democrats and giant corruption. What do we pay taxes for??

The USA was the strongest country, we stood for peace and freedom in the world and now we are a laughing stock. The dems just push CRT, Global warming and free stuff for everyone ( including every illegal & Criminal that crosses our borders). BTW, I didn’t vote for the UN to run our country, did you ?

Under Trump we were a country to be respected, we had us a strong position until the traitors gained control. Biden needs to go this year, we can not stand 2 more years of this idiocy. The traitors to the people should be afraid, they should be punished.

It looks like “We the People” are no longer who is running the USA. It’s we the elite who want to tear us down, get richer and stand by as we starve. It started with the slow elimination of free speech, and the dumbing down of American education system.

Give me hope, cut the size of government and it’s interference in our lives, Break up the big businesses, big media and lets have secure elections and closes Borders!

I’ve said my piece…

Camillia
Camillia
1 year ago

There are many Republicans who gravitate to Mitch McConnell to enrich themselves at the USA demise. The Democrats have lost their marbles when it comes to our Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and inclusive of the amendments from 11 to 25. If we as Americans do not stand for this country, than we have no one else to blame but ourselves. Special Interests, Pork Projects, Destruction of Education, and Sabotaging our nation lie beneath the hollow twisting of our rights and law and order for those who have acquiesced to China, Iran, Russia. As for the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Belgium they have all destroyed their nations for greed and power. The same is happening in the US.

mark
mark
1 year ago

If I sent $1.00 to Iran I would be arrested and put in prison without a trial or hearing. However, our Commander and Chief sent how much taxpayer money to Iran and is still considered our commander and chief!? When will an intelligent person in government follow the money$$$.

What can I say, “But typical government rule!”

glynn
glynn
1 year ago

facing last days, soviets and iran teaming up…..better get prayed up!!

Joanne4 justice.
Joanne4 justice.
1 year ago

I place my faith in Jesus only!

Staber
Staber
1 year ago

In the face of major challenges, we put an installed demented puppet of an old man to the test. How much of what is going on is planned and what is simply due to this doddering old fool’s disconnected synapses?

Philip Hammersley
Philip Hammersley
1 year ago

Middle Eastern and Far Eastern people respect STRENGTH! A senile fool like Biden, who has never achieved ANYTHING in the private sector in his life, makes the US look like a harmless puppet.
There’s a reason why NOBODY played games with Donald Trump!

Garye
Garye
1 year ago

The marxist democrat party and joebama are embarrassing and destroying Our Country, they must go!
If we the people don’t remove every possible traitor in 2022 and 2024 Freedom is gone.
Please- THROW THEM OUT

joe mchugh
joe mchugh
1 year ago

Biden has been humiliated? Biden lacks the cognizant ability to understand that he is a laughing stock among world leaders. We, the people, are being ridiculed by any foreigner who has observed the brain addled person who sits at the desk in the Oval Office.

After November 8th, Biden’s damaging acts will hopefully be limited by the Congress. Biden’s handlers will still try to use executive orders to continue obama’s third term but the Supreme Court of the United States should strike down the most egregious ones.

The cost of gasoline is expected to averaget over $6.00 a gallon this fall. The current moderation in gas prices will disappear after the strategic oil reserve draw downs stop just before the upcoming election cycle.

The good news? The Democrats can see that their hold of power is coming to an end. They are desperately trying to create “bright shinny squirrels” to distract the voters. It’s too bad for them that they were successful in making the high cost of everything the number one irritant on the public’s mind, …………..just in time for the November elections.

Judi
Judi
1 year ago

If Biden is begging the Saudi’s for oil, why did he ship millions of barrels of our oil overseas?

Bill T
Bill T
1 year ago

Putin is winning this so called war in a lot of ways, making a laughing stock out of our country, making underhanded deals with the Saudi Arabian leader, sending more fossil fuels to other countries than ever before ( and for a much higher price point) we’re the ones paying the price for all of these socialist democrats corruption!

Max
Max
1 year ago

Overall, Putin has achieved his objective and now has the Donbass area which has been pro-Russian. The area is now heavily fortified, backed by artillery and under SAM and air coverage. Although both sides have taken heavy losses, the Ukraine armed forces does not have the man power to push the Russians out, therefore STALEMATE. Russia can win and afford the battle of attrition while Ukraine cannot.

PapaGrouch
PapaGrouch
1 year ago

The American sheeple are so utterly stupid. Biden can’t take a dump without completely undermining himself. Russia and China, and now the Saudis and Venezuelans, have the Bidens so tightly ensconced by their short and curlies it is laughable to the absolute nth degree. America’s enemies are the left existing within our own borders. Outside powers and regimes merely present the symptoms exploiting the left’s absolute failure. Even by their own design of treason they’re an absolute absurdity.

JOHN R WHITE
JOHN R WHITE
1 year ago

Biden is just the Puppet. Oh yes he is pitifully non cognizant and just another 40 year political hack with no good record of any contribution to our country that allowed him and his family to acquire millions. November is the one and only last chance to unseat the evil, destructive left and destroy their agenda to destroy our America and become the leaders of a one world country.
Don’t kid yourself, America is the giant that must be slayed because no other country can stand up to her, defeat her nor equal her. Annihilate the left at the poles and restore our country to normal!

THX 1138
THX 1138
1 year ago

Alright!
A show of raised hands….

Who did not see this coming?
(Hint: He’s currently residing at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., Washington, District of Criminals).

John Bush
John Bush
1 year ago

we are being seriously outmaneuvered and subjected to long-term damage to our reputation and ability to shape world affairs. China may very well be the superpower of the future. We will have simply handed over the power to them

Rich
Rich
1 year ago

Maybe the republicans should make a deal with Putin to defend us against the democrats. We could even get more and possibly cheaper oil.

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