Breitbart News has been reporting the likelihood that an Israel-Saudi alliance against Iran would emerge as a result of the Obama adminstration’s weakness in the face of Iran’s nuclear program. Now, the London Sunday Times reports that there are intelligence documents setting out plans for Israel to use Saudi airspace in a preemptive strike on Iran if the nuclear deal sought by Obama is signed at the end of this week.
Saudi Arabia has been unusually forthright, and public, in its criticism of the Obama administration, warning openly of an informal downgrade of U.S.-Saudi ties, partly over the Iran issue. Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has also been open in his recent criticism, likening the proposed nuclear deal–which would allow Iran to continue enriching uranium at low levels–as a “very, very bad deal.”
For several years, Saudi Arabia has seemed more open to acknowledging Israel’s presence in the Middle East as a permanent one. It criticized Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat for walking away from a potential deal in 2000, and it launched the Arab Peace Initiative in 2002, in which Israel was offered full recognition in exchange for full withdrawal to the 1967 borders (with no solution, however, for refugees, or Jerusalem).
The threat of a nuclear Iran may now force the issue. Iran wants to use the potential of nuclear weapons to exert greater power in the region, against Saudi interests. The Saudi regime, preparing for this contingency, is thought to have financed its own nuclear program, hosted by Pakistan, which it will bring home and activate if Iran is thought to be a nuclear power. It may see an Israeli strike as the only other alternative.