For decades the United States has forged close relations with a number of key allies in the Arab world, particularly Egypt and Saudi Arabia. These close ties were based largely on perceived national interest, not mutual values. The fundamental changes in the Arab world since early 2011 (the so-called Arab Spring) have drastically altered the regional strategic landscape. This essay examines the US response to the political upheaval in the Arab world. It argues that the United States should distance itself from the changes in the Arab world and give the newly established regimes the space they need to sort out their futures. Meanwhile, Washington should further strengthen relations with the non-Arab Middle Eastern “peripheries,” specifically, Israel and Turkey. Also, the nuclear deal signed between Iran and major global powers in November 2013 provides a significant opportunity to open a new chapter in relations between Tehran and Washington.

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