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Sunday, July 05, 2009

Saudis to let Israel flyover to attack Iran?

Before we start this story, let me inform you that one of its authors is Uzi Mahnaimi, who has been known to exaggerate in the past.

The Sunday Times of London is reporting that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has told Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu that it will look the other way if the IAF overflies its country on a mission to remove Iran's nuclear capability. Traversing Saudi Arabia would considerably shorten the route to Iran.
The head of Mossad, Israel’s overseas intelligence service, has assured Benjamin Netanyahu, its prime minister, that Saudi Arabia would turn a blind eye to Israeli jets flying over the kingdom during any future raid on Iran’s nuclear sites.

Earlier this year Meir Dagan, Mossad’s director since 2002, held secret talks with Saudi officials to discuss the possibility.

The Israeli press has already carried unconfirmed reports that high-ranking officials, including Ehud Olmert, the former prime minister, held meetings with Saudi colleagues. The reports were denied by Saudi officials.

“The Saudis have tacitly agreed to the Israeli air force flying through their airspace on a mission which is supposed to be in the common interests of both Israel and Saudi Arabia,” a diplomatic source said last week.

Although the countries have no formal diplomatic relations, an Israeli defence source confirmed that Mossad maintained “working relations” with the Saudis.
Two things make this report credible. One is that the Israeli press has carried reports of meetings with Saudi officials, which the Saudis have dutifully denied. Second, Mahnaimi and Sarah Baxter cite John Bolton, who calls this development 'logical.'
John Bolton, the former US ambassador to the United Nations who recently visited the Gulf, said it was “entirely logical” for the Israelis to use Saudi airspace.

Bolton, who has talked to several Arab leaders, added: “None of them would say anything about it publicly but they would certainly acquiesce in an overflight if the Israelis didn’t trumpet it as a big success.”

Arab states would condemn a raid when they spoke at the UN but would be privately relieved to see the threat of an Iranian bomb removed, he said.
They quote Bolton as going on to note that to this day, Israel has not admitted any of the specifics of the 2007 raid on Syria's nuclear reactor.

So is this going to happen? It's plausible. It's also something that no one here or in Riyadh would discuss openly (and you can expect a Saudi denial - and maybe even an Israeli one - before the morning is over). And I highly doubt anyone told Mahnaimi about it. He may have just guessed it.

Putting this together with the Suez Canal story from Friday (which was half-denied by Egypt), one can conclude that something is in the works with or without American cooperation (which won't happen so long as Obama is President). What and when remain to be seen. But I would bet on it happening sometime within the next six months. With his obsession with 'engaging' with Ahmadinejad and the Mullahs, Obama has managed to scare the Egyptians and the Saudis even more than the Israelis and has brought an attack on Iran's nuclear capability much closer than it was six months ago.


Hot Air notes this statement by the gaffemeister:

Vice President Joe Biden says the U.S. will not stand in Israel’s way if Israel believes military action is needed to eliminate Iran’s nuclear threat.

Biden says the U.S. “cannot dictate to another sovereign nation what they can and cannot do.”

I find it hard to believe that Obama approved that statement. This sounds like Biden talking out of school and not Biden leaking confidential White House conversations.


At 8:06 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

I don't think Bahrain would have sent a delegation this week to Israel just to pick up its nationals when they could have arranged their release through a third party. They probably wanted to send Iran a message. The Gulf States and Saudi Arabia won't be establishing relations with Israel any time soon but one can expect unofficial contacts to continue to occur between them and Israel. Iran's designs on the Arab World have temporarily brought Israel and Iran's neighbors together.

At 8:48 AM, Blogger Shtuey said...

I speculated at my blog that this would be a likely scenario. "We didn't see anything...we were doing software upgrades on our radar systems last night...whoops!"

Marack may be the only person on earth, besides Mullahs Inc., that wants Iran to get the bomb.

At 11:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This report is now being completely dismissed as being without foundation, according to radio news here in Israel.

At 2:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If they are denying the report then all the more reason it is prob. true. Look for the post mortum within the next 3 to 6 months. It's about time someone did something about Iranian nukes.

At 8:57 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Shy Guy, of course they're dismissing it. They don't want to discomfit the Saudis. That means its true but no one wants to make this "marriage of convenience" official.

At 8:58 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Regarding Biden, with his history - it is hard to know if he was just blabbing or authorized to say anything by Obama. In either case, it wasn't completely a green light to Israel, because when asked about the US allowing Israel to fly over Iraq - he said both Israel and the United states will act in their own best interests (or something to that effect)


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