Are Israel and Saudi Arabia working together against Iran? "The Sunday Times" reports that Mossad agents met top Saudi officials to draw up contingency plans for a possible attack on Iran if an agreement is signed with Tehran that is not acceptable to the two countries.
According to the report, which is based on diplomatic sources, Saudi Arabia has agreed to allow Israel to use its air space and to provide Israel with assistance in the form of drones, rescue helicopters, and air-to-air refueling tankers. The report quotes a source as saying that Saudi Arabia is furious at the West and that it is prepared to give Israel whatever assistance in needed for a military confrontation with Iran.
"Both the Israeli and Saudi governments are convinced that the international talks to place limits on Tehran’s military nuclear development amount to appeasement and will do little to slow its development of a nuclear warhead," "The Sunday Times" report states. It adds that both countries believe that the military option should stay on the table, because Iran is not showing flexibility.
"Once the Geneva agreement is signed, the military option will be back on the table," "The Sunday Times" quotes the source as saying. "The Saudis are determined against Iran and are prepared to give Israel the support it needs."
Today's report from "The Sunday Times" follows earlier reports that, in secret talks between Israel and Saudi Arabia, it was agreed that the Saudis would allow Israeli jets to use its air space to attack Iran. However, "The Sunday Times" report indicates that there has been substantial progress in the relations between the two countries - progress based on a common Iranian enemy.
This rapprochement is happening amid a crisis in Israel's relations with the US over the Iranian negotiations. While Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reiterates that the Iranians cannot be trusted, the Americans and other Western parties are determined to reach a deal and scale back the sanctions imposed on Iran.
Despite the crisis, US Secretary of State John Kerry sought to allay Israel's fears about the talks. "We're having a very friendly and civil conversation about this," Kerry said of the dialogue with Netanyahu in an interview with MSNBC, "I respect completely his deep concerns - as a prime minister of Israel should have - about the existential nature of this threat to Israel. We understand that."
French President Francois Hollande is arriving in Israel on Sunday. Netanyahu is expected to ask that France should continue its support for the Israeli position that there should be no agreement. France has thus far supported the Israeli position, and scuttled an agreement with Iran that was against Israel's interests as presented by Netanyahu.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on November 17, 2013
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