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Middle East outlook is poised on US election outcome

Friday, October 30, 2020

Significance

The two candidates differ on the timing, scope and scale of US regional engagement. Biden was a strong critic of the policy changes Trump introduced regarding the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and the legality of Israeli West Bank settlements.

Impacts

  • The legal process of waiving Trump’s many-layered sanctions on Iran could present a logistical challenge for a Biden administration.
  • Even if the Democrats regain Senate control, they would not have the two-thirds majority needed to ratify a possible Iran treaty.
  • Trump would empower regional partners like Israel and Abu Dhabi to manage regional challenges, which could boost instability.
  • Trump’s unwillingness to engage with regional complexities would likely hinder his deal-making efforts.

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