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Regarding the Abraham Accords, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said, “Aside from putting forward a peace proposal that was dead on arrival, we don’t think [the prior administration] did anything constructive, really, to bring an end to the longstanding conflict in the Middle East.”
That is not how Israel and her recently acquired Sunni Arab friends view the reality that they have been forced to contend with, particularly concerning the Iranian nuclear threat.
Over the last several weeks, we have watched the rush creation of a fragile deal with Iran before President-Elect Ebrahim Raisi assumes office, in addition to a retreat from Afghanistan, leaving behind our sophisticated weapons to potentially fall into the hands of the Taliban, and an eagerness to return to elevating the Palestinian cause as the lynchpin of peace in the Middle East.
We welcomed Richard Goldberg, a senior advisor at Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, who gave us an overview of the Biden administration’s Middle East policy.
We also recommend reading his recent piece in Mosaic.
About the speaker:
Richard Goldberg is a senior advisor at Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD). From 2019-2020, Richard served as the Director for Countering Iranian Weapons of Mass Destruction for the White House National Security Council. He also previously served as chief of staff for Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner and deputy chief of staff and senior foreign policy advisor to former Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois in both the U.S. House and Senate.
As a staff associate for the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State-Foreign Operations, Richard worked on a wide range of issues related to U.S. foreign assistance, including foreign military financing, international security assistance, international peacekeeping, development, global health and economic support funds. He was a founding staff director of the House U.S.-China Working Group and was among the first Americans ever to visit China’s human space launch center. A leader in efforts to expand U.S. missile defense cooperation with Israel, Richard played a key role in U.S. funding for the Arrow-3 program, Iron Dome and the deployment of an advanced missile defense radar to the Negev Desert.
In the Senate, Richard emerged as a leading architect of the toughest sanctions imposed on Iran. He was the lead Republican negotiator for three rounds of sanctions targeting the Central Bank of Iran, the SWIFT financial messaging service, and entire sectors of the Iranian economy. Richard also drafted and negotiated legislation promoting human rights and democracy in Iran, including sanctions targeting entities that provide the Iranian regime with the tools of repression. His Iran sanctions work was featured in the book The Iran Wars.