Once in office, Biden seemed to stay true to this line. He kept his distance from the Saudis and adopted the tone from the campaign trail.
For instance, Biden had his intelligence service’s report on the grisly murder of exiled critic Jamal Khashoggi published – evidence that directly linked Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS). As a result, sanctions against 76 citizens of Saudi Arabia were imposed, and arms deliveries to Saudi Arabia were frozen.
Although the deal is still to be presented to Joe Biden Congress, it will undoubtedly be approved. As divided as Washington is politically on Saudi Arabia, a bipartisan approach still exists, even if it does not reflect the general opinion of the American people, Stephen Zunes, professor of politics and international studies at the University of San Francisco, told Al Jazeera.
“There, unfortunately, does appear to be longstanding, bipartisan support for the Saudi regime in terms of the White House and Capitol Hill, though polls indicate a large majority of Americans oppose such unconditional military assistance,” Zunes told Al Jazeera.
“Indeed, there is probably no other issue where there is such a huge gap between public opinion and administration policy than US arms transfers and other military support to dictatorial regimes.”