Thursday, June 11, 2015

Iran’s Belligerence Promotes Israeli-Saudi Rapprochement

Israeli Foreign Minister Dore Gold(THOMAS COEX/AFP/Getty Images)
Israeli Foreign Minister Dore Gold
(THOMAS COEX/AFP/Getty Images)

Iran’s Belligerence Promotes Israeli-Saudi Rapprochement

June 7, 2015  •  From
For the first time in history, Israel and Saudi Arabia have admitted to having diplomatic relations.
The admission came in a unique forum organized by the Council of Foreign Relations in Washington, D.C., on Thursday. Two speakers—Dore Gold, the incoming director general of the Israeli Foreign Ministry, and Anwar Majed Eshki, a retired Saudi general—shared the floor to discuss the growing Saudi-Israeli relationship.
They revealed that five secret bilateral meetings between the countries have taken place in the past 17 months in locations throughout Europe and Asia. The meetings were initiated to discuss a common threat: Iran’s takeover of the Middle East.
The disclosure coincides with a survey indicating most Saudis now consider Iran as their main adversary, rather than Israel. The survey conducted by the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya also revealed that most Saudis think their country should seek nuclear weapons if Iran acquires the bomb.
Speaking of the rapprochement between the countries, Dore Gold expressed hope that many other differences will be addressed in the years ahead.
However, it is not just the Iranian threat that is bringing the two nations together. Bloomberg View columnist Eli Lake explains,
The two nations worry today that [United States] President Barack Obama’s efforts to make peace with Iran will embolden that regime’s aggression against them. It’s unclear whether Obama will get his nuclear deal. But either way, it may end up that his greatest diplomatic accomplishment will be that his outreach to Iran helped create the conditions for a Saudi-Israeli alliance against it.
While a formal alliance between the Israelis and the house of Saud is unlikely, the closer ties reveal how imminent they believe the Iranian threat to be.
A strong alliance is being formed in the backdrop of America’s open hand to Iran. To understand, read “Arab Nations Fear Iran Action, U.S. Inaction” by staff writer Callum Wood.

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