Saudi Official: Iran ‘Engineered a War in Gaza’ to Ruin Saudi-Israel Relationship

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP

Israel’s public broadcasting corporation, known colloquially as “Kan,” interviewed an unnamed Saudi royal official on Sunday who said Iran “engineered the war in Gaza to destroy the progress in relations” between Saudi Arabia and Israel.

“Iran’s behavior is irresponsible. We all know that Iran is a country that sponsors terrorism, and it should have been stopped a long time ago,” the Saudi official said.

Several other sources have made the same allegation, including U.S. President Joe Biden, who said two weeks after the October 7 atrocities that Hamas “moved on Israel” because “the Saudis wanted to recognize Israel.” Others have suggested Hamas also wanted to wreck Israel’s improving relations with other major Muslim countries, such as Indonesia.

Hamas’s bloody gambit seemed to work, at least temporarily, as Saudi Arabia froze relations with Israel on October 13 after Israel’s response to the atrocities commenced. Saudi sources said they would press for Israel to make more concessions to Palestinian statehood when and if normalization talks resumed, another indication that Hamas’s alleged terrorism strategy was successful.

The Saudi official who spoke to Kan on Sunday did not deny reports that Saudi Arabia assisted with intercepting the drones and missiles launched by Iran against Israel on Saturday night.

“Every suspicious object that enters Saudi airspace is intercepted. It is a sovereign matter,” he said.

The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) claimed on Monday that “half a dozen other countries” joined the United States and Israel to mount a highly effective defense against the Iranian attack.

Jordan’s cabinet stated on Sunday that Jordanian forces intercepted several objects that entered its airspace, with some of the interceptions occurring close to the Iraqi-Syrian border. Eyewitnesses reported seeing multiple interceptions within 40 miles of Jordan’s capital, Amman.

According to the WSJ’s sources, Saudi Arabia and its close ally, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), shared intelligence with the United States and Israel on Thursday about the impending Iranian attack.

“The Iranian missiles and drones were tracked from the moment they launched by early warning radars in Persian Gulf countries linked to the U.S. operations center in Qatar, which transmitted the information to fighter jets from several countries in the airspace over Jordan and other countries, as well as to warships at sea and missile-defense batteries in Israel,” the report said.


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