Iranian media reacted to US President Joe Biden's regional tour as one website said, "the main objective of the visit is to create an anti-Iranian coalition."
A former Foreign Ministry director general Ghasem Mohebali told Nameh News that the coalition which is likely to be formed in the Middle East against Iran during Biden's visit can lead to an increase in Iran's military expenditure and is likely to have negative economic, security and probably military implications for Iran.
According to Nameh News, although some of Iran's hardliner media have claimed that the visit has already proven to be futile, others are still worried about its implications, particularly in re-aligning relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia. What is certain is that the situation is highly sensitive, and Tehran's reaction can be important.
Mohebali said that the fact Biden's article in the Washington Post before his visit, and the fact that the latest round of indirect talks between Iran and the United States in Doha failed, provide a good opportunity for the opponents of the Iran nuclear deal, including Israel and Saudi Arabia to impose more costs on Iran by masterminding new developments in the region.
He added that Iran failed to use the divide between the United States on the one hand and Israel and Saudi Arabia on the other during the Biden administration’s first months in office. Now the situation has changed as the Washington needs Saudi Arabia's oil, Mohebali said. He also argued that Iran can benefit from Washington's need for energy too, but Tehran should reach an agreement first. Otherwise, US sanctions will remain in place and the population will continue to suffer.
President Joe Biden gestures as he stands next to Israel Prime Minister Yair Lapid and Israel President Isaac Herzog, on July 14, 2022
International affairs analyst Adnan Tabatabai told the moderate conservative website Khabar Online on July 14, that Biden's regional tour can provide Iran with a strategic opportunity.
Tabatabai said, the main objectives of Biden's visit are discussing Saudi Arabia's oil production and export policies as well as the security of the Middle East and particularly the Persian Gulf region.
The visit marks the United States' renewed interest in the Middle East where oil can play a key part for the West's security. Meanwhile, the visit is likely to pave the way for the creation of what was previously called the Arab NATO or an alliance between Western and Arab states. Meanwhile, Iran perceives a threat resulting from the strengthening of diplomatic and political ties between Israel and Saudi Arabia.
Tabatabai said that following Biden's characterization of Iran as a security threat, Iran is likely to escalate its negative approach to Biden's visit. On the other hand, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are still annoyed by the hesitant US reaction to the 2019 missile and drone attack on Aramco facilities.
The lingering hard feelings in Riadh and Abu Dhabi, said Tabatabai, might provide a strategic opportunity for Iran to continue its talks with Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
Meanwhile, proreform daily Arman Melli wrote in its Thursday edition that Iran's nuclear program and reports about Tehran sending "hundreds of drones" to Russia to help Moscow in its war against Ukraine are likely to be on the agenda of Biden's talks during his regional tour. The daily said Putin's probable visit To Iran next week could be Moscow's answer to Biden's regional tour. The daily quoted analyst Ali Asghar Zargar as saying that "Moscow believes Iran is its winning card in its confrontation with the West."