Joe Biden is a lucky man. The heroism of the Ukrainian people saved him from a Russian victory. Now the people of Iran, led by their women, are offering him a historic opportunity to weaken Russia, reduce long-term American vulnerabilities in the Middle East, and even return a sense of caution and sobriety to Chinese foreign policy.
Like many great opportunities, it comes unexpectedly. The Middle East has been a dreary place for Team Biden. The failure to enlist the Iranians in a renewed nuclear deal, the shambolic Afghan withdrawal, the embarrassing fist bump with a price-hiking Mohammed bin Salman, Benjamin Netanyahu’s electoral victory: Nothing in the Middle East has gone Joe Biden’s way.
This string of embarrassing failures has confirmed the administration’s determination to downgrade the Middle East as a strategic priority. But the Middle East refuses to stay quiet.