Sep 9, 2009

Saudi Arabia Cooperating with Israel

Aaron KleinBy Aaron Klein

...Kingdom sharing information regarding possible Iran attack

NEW YORK – Saudi Arabia is cooperating with Israel on the Iranian nuclear issue, an Egyptian intelligence official told WND.

The official said Saudi Arabia is passing intelligence information to Israel related to Iran. He affirmed a report from the Arab media, strongly denied by the Israeli government, that Saudi Arabia has granted Israel overflight permission during any attack against Iran's nuclear facilities.

The official previously told WND that Prince Saud Al-Faisal, the Saudi foreign minister, has been involved in an intense, behind-the-scenes lobbying effort urging the U.S. and other Western countries to do everything necessary to ensure Iran does not obtain nuclear weapons. Such weapons would threaten Saudi Arabia's position of influence in the Middle East.

The Egyptian official said his country believes it is not likely Obama will grant Israel permission to attack Iran.

He spoke in the past about other Arab countries' efforts to oppose an Iranian nuclear umbrella but did not comment on Egypt's own position on the matter.

Egypt recently granted Israel permission to conduct naval exercises off Egyptian coastal waters. Those military drills clearly were aimed at Iran.

Until now, the Obama administration has sent mixed signals about green-lighting Israeli military action against Iran while stressing it supports diplomacy with an Iranian leadership.

In June, Vice President Joe Biden said during a CNN interview the U.S. would not stand in the way if Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu believes Israeli military action is needed to eliminate the Iranian nuclear threat.

But other administration officials warned against an Israeli attack. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said in April such a strike would have dangerous consequences and asserted Tehran's acquisition of a bomb can be prevented only if "Iranians themselves decide it's too costly." His views have since been echoed by other Obama officials such as White House national security adviser Jim Jones.

Gates recently visited Israel reportedly to dissuade Jerusalem from any action until Obama's diplomacy is given a chance.

Obama has set a rough deadline of this fall for an answer from Iran about whether the country will talk. The deadline had been postponed from a previous rough deadline of June.

Gates has said if Iran doesn't come to the bargaining table soon, the next step could be harsher international sanctions.

Related Links

Iran must end 'illicit' nuclear activities: White House - AFP
Iran Submits Proposals Aimed at Spurring New Nuclear Talks - Bloomberg
U.S. Raises Concerns on Iran Nuclear Program - New York Times
Netanyahu secretly visited Russia: reports - Reuters
Iranian Atomic Work Nears Bomb Capability, U.S. Says (Update4) - Bloomberg
The Late Great State of Israel: How Enemies Within and Without Threaten the Jewish Nation's Survival - Aaron Klein (Book)