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Trump's Middle East strategy is bound to fail

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28.02.2019

Just a week after attending what was largely seen as "anti-Iran" conference in Warsaw earlier this month, Jared Kushner, senior adviser to US President Donald Trump, embarked on a special diplomatic trip across the Middle East to promote and fundraise for his peace plan to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Unsurprisingly, on his tour of the region, he brought along US Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook.

The Warsaw meeting and Kushner's Middle East trip reflect what seems to be a key foreign policy pillar of the Trump administration which links the much-awaited "deal of the century" to the formation of an Arab-Israeli anti-Iran alliance.

The expectations of the White House are that the Arabs would sign off on Kushner's deal, normalise relations with the Israelis and work with them to deter Iran. That is why, while many observers saw the Warsaw conference as a failure, since it did not convince European allies to fully back US anti-Iranian regime policies, the Trump administration saw it as a success, having brought together Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and representatives of several Arab countries on the same table.

However, this rather myopic foreign policy strategy for the Middle East ignores important realities on the ground and is, therefore, doomed to fail.

Since he moved into the White House in January 2017, Trump has made it a point to systematically undo the Iran policies that his predecessor had put in place.

President Barack Obama believed the US should not confront Iran on behalf of Arab allies and sought to engage Tehran. His administration increased pressure through international sanctions and at the same time pushed for dialogue.

Between 2014 and 2016, the US and Iran tacitly worked together to fight the common threat of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS) by backing the governments of Iraq and Lebanon while avoiding confrontation in Syria. The engagement effort with Iran culminated in the Joint Comprehensive Plan........

© Al Jazeera