Lindsey Graham
Lindsey GrahamReuters/Yuri Gripas/ABACAPRESS.COM

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on Sunday praised the Biden administration’s efforts to normalize relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia as an important step toward stabilizing the Middle East after the war in Gaza.

Speaking to NBC News’ “Meet the Press,” Graham said that normalized relations between Israel and the Saudis would be a setback for Iran.

“The Biden administration is trying to revive the normalization efforts, and I think they’re right to do so. If you really want to hurt Iran long term, don’t let them get away with destroying efforts to reconcile between Israel and Saudi Arabia,” said Graham.

“I can tell you, Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries cannot normalize with Israel if they’re having been seen as throwing the Palestinians under the bus,” Graham added. “We have two choices: Continue the death spiral or use October 7 as a catalyst for change.”

Israel and Saudi Arabia appeared to be on track towards normalization before Hamas’ October 7 attack against Israel and the war in Gaza which followed.

Shortly after the start of the war in Gaza, sources told Reuters that Saudi Arabia is putting the US-backed plans to normalize ties with Israel on ice.

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan later said that he believes talks on normalization between Israel and Saudi Arabia will resume immediately after the conclusion of the war in Gaza.

US National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby told reporters last month that Saudi Arabia is still interested in pursuing a normalization agreement with Israel “but obviously, we’re all focused, including our Saudi friends, on what’s going on in Gaza.”