Jared Kushner is headed to Saudi Arabia for any number of nefarious purposes in the wake of an Iranian nuclear scientist being assassinated last week.
White House senior adviser Jared Kushner is headed to Saudi Arabia and Qatar this week for talks in a region simmering with tension after the killing of an Iranian nuclear scientist.
A senior administration official said on Sunday that Kushner is to meet the Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, in the Saudi city of Neom, and the emir of Qatar in that country in the coming days. Kushner will be joined by Middle East envoys Avi Berkowitz and Brian Hook and Adam Boehler, chief executive of the US International Development Finance Corporation.
The visits would focus on resolving a dispute between Qatar and a Saudi-led alliance, the Wall Street Journal reported, but a number of issues could be on the agenda.
Kushner and his team helped negotiate normalization deals between Israel and Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Sudan since August. The official said they would like to advance more such agreements before Donald Trump hands power to president-elect Joe Biden on 20 January.
US officials believe enticing Saudi Arabia into a deal with Israel would prompt other Arab nations to follow suit. But the Saudis do not appear to be on the brink of reaching such a landmark deal and officials in recent weeks have been focusing on other countries, with concern about Iran’s regional influence a uniting factor.
Kushner’s trip comes after the killing on Friday of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh in Tehran by unidentified assailants. Western and Israeli governments believe Fakhrizadeh was the architect of a secret Iranian nuclear weapons program.
Days before the killing, the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, travelled to Saudi Arabia and met with Prince Mohammed, an Israeli official said, in what was the first publicly confirmed visit by an Israeli leader. Israeli media said they were joined by the US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo.
When I said earlier this month that there's any number of ways that the Trump regime could badly sabotage the incoming Biden administration during the lame duck period, this is exactly what I mean. Jared's been Trump's bag man in the Middle East for years, and Netanyahu, still facing his own bribery and corruption trial scandal which keeps getting mysteriously delayed, is certainly not going to be a fan of Biden after the way he treated Obama for years.
Some sort of last-minute deal between MBS and Netanyahu that ties Biden's hands is exactly what I expect following this meeting, especially something that involves Iran.
Don't be surprised if Trump hands Biden a new Middle East war to deal with in his first 30 days.