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Saudi rules out contact with Israel on Iran

Saudi Arabia on Monday ruled out any contact with Israel, with which it has no diplomatic ties, after a British newspaper reported that the two countries could coordinate efforts against Iran.

The kingdom, which is Iran's chief regional rival, "has no relations or contacts with Israel of any kind or at any level," said a foreign ministry spokesman, quoted by state news agency SPA.

Under the headline "Two old foes unite against Tehran," Britain's Sunday Times newspaper said Israel and Saudi Arabia were working together on "contingency plans for a possible attack on Iran if its nuclear programme is not significantly curbed."

"As part of the growing cooperation, Riyadh is understood already to have given the go-ahead for Israeli planes to use its airspace in the event of an attack on Iran," it said.

The Saudi spokesman said the report was "completely unfounded".

Mainly Sunni Saudi has been locked in a decades-long rivalry with Shiite-dominated Iran, while Israel suspects Tehran is covertly pursuing a nuclear weapons programme and has not ruled out the use of military force.

Saudi Arabia has no diplomatic relations with the Jewish state.

In 2002, the kingdom presented a peace initiative which offers Israel full diplomatic recognition from all Arab states in exchange for the return of occupied Arab lands.

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