Sanctions against Iran and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are the most controversial issues of Trump's legacy in the region

Biden's two challenges in the Middle East

PHOTO - Biden's two challenges in the Middle East

During the four years of the Republican administration, Donald Trump promoted a new paradigm in international relations with the countries of the Middle East: maintenance of sanctions against Iran, full support for the State of Israel, support for the normalisation of Arab countries with the Hebrew country, and friendships with authoritarian regimes ignoring human rights.

Many governments in the region have shown their agreement with the former President of the United States: Egypt, Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Many others welcomed Trump's departure and welcomed the arrival of Democrat Joe Biden.

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Iran has already reacted to the democratic victory. Shortly after major US media outlets reported Biden's victory, Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei's English-language Twitter account re-tweeted a segment of a speech he gave last week, calling the US election a "show".

"This is an example of the hideous face of liberal democracy in America," the tweet said. "Whatever the outcome, one thing is absolutely clear: the ultimate political, civil and moral decline of the American regime".

For his part, President Hassan Rohani, quoted by the local media, said Biden's election should change President Donald Trump's policy towards the Islamic Republic. He said Biden's victory is "an opportunity for the next US administration to right the wrongs of the past and get back on track to meet international commitments on global rules".

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif wrote on his Twitter account that he hopes the new administration "will embrace multilateralism, cooperation and respect for the law", and said, in saying goodbye, that Iran's record was one of "dignity, concern and responsible diplomacy".

In 2015, Iran and the six world powers - the United States, Russia, China, the United Kingdom, France and Germany - reached an historic nuclear agreement known as the "Joint Global Action Plan" (JGAP). The pact provided for the lifting of economic sanctions against Tehran in exchange for limiting its atomic energy programme.

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In 2018, however, the arrival of Trump led Washington to withdraw from the agreement and reimpose sanctions on Iran.

Now Iran, with the change in the White House, hopes that the pre-Trump policy will be reinstated and that the US will ally itself with members of the UN Security Council and withdraw the sanctions.

Changing the course of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

he Palestinians expect the same from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with the arrival of the democrat.

Although no radical change in policy towards the Palestinians is expected, given the continuing alliance between Washington and Tel Aviv, Biden is expected to move away from the more ultra-orthodox and conservative positions of Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu.

The arrival of Biden will mean "a return to the traditional American pattern, to the old formulas," which could cause tensions with the Israeli right, said analyst Sima Kadmon this week in the daily Yediot Ahronot.

During the Trump administration, relations with the Palestinians deteriorated to the point where the US closed the Palestinian representative office in Washington and the Palestinians assured that they no longer recognised the White House as the main mediator in the conflict, as had been the case historically.

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The head of the Political Bureau of the Hamas movement, Ismail Haniyeh, said that the newly elected US President, Joe Biden, should change the course of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and abandon the policies of Donald Triumph.

Haniyeh said Saturday in a press release: "Unfair policies towards our people have made the United States a partner in injustice and aggression, and have undermined the state of stability in the region and the world, and have hindered America's ability to be a partner in conflict resolution.

While the U.S. regional peace plan is in the air with the change of presidency, Biden is also not expected to backtrack on any measures and, for example, to follow the previous administration in advancing the normalization agreements with Israel, which under Trump were signed by the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Sudan, and which the Democrat may seek to extend to other Arab countries.