Israel working with Saudi Arabia on Iran’s nuclear contingency plan - report
Published time: November 17, 2013 04:23
Edited time: November 17, 2013 11:13
Israel’s Mossad, along with Saudi officials, is working on contingency plans that could include an attack on Iran if its nuclear program is not curbed enough during the negotiations in Geneva this week, a new report has revealed.
Both powers have expressed concern that restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program will not be enough. According to The Sunday Times newspaper, Saudi Arabia already gave Israel the green light to use its airspace in the case of an attack on Iran.
It was also revealed that the Saudis were willing to assist an Israeli attack by cooperating with the use of drones, rescue helicopters, and tanker planes. “Once the Geneva agreement is signed, the military option will be back on the table. The Saudis are furious and are willing to give Israel all the help it needs,” an unnamed diplomatic source told the paper.
Tehran has been negotiating sanction relief in Geneva with the P5+1 countries - consisting of the US, Britain, France, Germany, Russia, and China - in exchange for assurances that it will not develop a nuclear weapon. Exact terms on offer from both sides have not been made public, but no agreement was made last weekend. The sides will sit down for a new round of talks on November 20.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has warned that lifting sanctions on Iran without demanding sufficient concessions in return will only encourage Tehran on its path to nuclear armament and lead to future conflict.
Israel has been lobbying hard against appeasement, with Netanyahu himself claiming that Iran is about to clinch “the deal of the century.”
On Saturday, Netanyahu spoke to French daily Le Figaro about the situation, stating that Israel and the “leading states in the Arab world” agree when it comes to Tehran and its nuclear capabilities.
“We all think that Iran should not be allowed to have the capacities to make nuclear weapons,” he said. “We all think that a tougher stance should be taken by the international community. We all believe that if Iran were to have nuclear weapons, this could lead to a nuclear arms race in the Middle East, making the Middle East a nuclear tinderbox.”
The prime minister’s comments were made just before French President Francois Hollande was scheduled to arrive in Israel for talks on Iran on Sunday. French objections reportedly caused an obstacle in the Iran talks last weekend.
An attack would be an ‘economic catastrophe’
Iranian political analyst Seyed Mohammad Marandi told RT that an imminent joint attack on Iran was unlikely given the serious ramifications it could provoke for the region.
“It is highly unlikely that the Saudis and Israelis would want to attack Iran because at the end of the day both countries would be losers, they would be seen as aggressors and obviously the Iranians would retaliate,” Marandi told RT.
Although he consented that the Saudis and Israelis have been moving closer together lately, neither of them stood to gain from attacking Iran.
“It would create an economic catastrophe for the world and only the Saudis and the Israelis would be to blame,” said Marandi.