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Saturday, June 12, 2010

Saudis clear Israeli strike on Iran?

We've heard these stories before so I'm hesitant to cite this one as true. But the Times of London (not under Uzi Mahnaimi's byline) is reporting that Saudi Arabia has conducted tests to stand down its air defenses to allow Israeli jets to attack Iran's nuclear facilities (Hat Tip: Memeorandum).
In the week that the UN Security Council imposed a new round of sanctions on Tehran, defence sources in the Gulf say that Riyadh has agreed to allow Israel to use a narrow corridor of its airspace in the north of the country to shorten the distance for a bombing run on Iran.

To ensure the Israeli bombers pass unmolested, Riyadh has carried out tests to make certain its own jets are not scrambled and missile defence systems not activated. Once the Israelis are through, the kingdom’s air defences will return to full alert.

“The Saudis have given their permission for the Israelis to pass over and they will look the other way,” said a US defence source in the area. “They have already done tests to make sure their own jets aren’t scrambled and no one gets shot down. This has all been done with the agreement of the [US] State Department.”

Sources in Saudi Arabia say it is common knowledge within defence circles in the kingdom that an arrangement is in place if Israel dehttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifcides to launch the raid. Despite the tension between the two governments, they share a mutual loathing of the regime in Tehran and a common fear of Iran’s nuclear ambitions. “We all know this. We will let them [the Israelis] through and see nothing,” said one.

The four main targets for any raid on Iran would be the uranium enrichment facilities at Natanz and Qom, the gas storage development at Isfahan and the heavy-water reactor at Arak. Secondary targets include the lightwater reactor at Bushehr, which could produce weapons-grade plutonium when complete.
But the Times implies that there's another country whose approval is needed and so far that approval has not been forthcoming.
The targets lie as far as 1,400 miles (2,250km) from Israel; the outer limits of their bombers’ range, even with aerial refuelling. An open corridor across northern Saudi Arabia would significantly shorten the distance. An airstrike would involve multiple waves of bombers, possibly crossing Jordan, northern Saudi Arabia and Iraq. Aircraft attacking Bushehr, on the Gulf coast, could swing beneath Kuwait to strike from the southwest.

Passing over Iraq would require at least tacit agreement to the raid from Washington. So far, the Obama Administration has refused to give its approval as it pursues a diplomatic solution to curbing Iran’s nuclear ambitions. Military analysts say Israel has held back only because of this failure to secure consensus from America and Arab states. Military analysts doubt that an airstrike alone would be sufficient to knock out the key nuclear facilities, which are heavily fortified and deep underground or within mountains. However, if the latest sanctions prove ineffective the pressure from the Israelis on Washington to approve military action will intensify. Iran vowed to continue enriching uranium after the UN Security Council imposed its toughest sanctions yet in an effort to halt the Islamic Republic’s nuclear programme, which Tehran claims is intended for civil energy purposes only. President Ahmadinejad has described the UN resolution as “a used handkerchief, which should be thrown in the dustbin”.
Israeli intelligence sources claim that Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan are all more fearful of an Iranian nuclear weapon than of any other threat.

I hope God willing to live long enough to read the memoirs of those currently in power. When those memoirs come out, I believe that they will show that Barack Hussein Obama has done more than anyone else other than Ahmadinejad to place the world at risk of a nuclear war. If Obama doesn't manage to cause one first.


At 11:35 PM, Blogger Juniper in the Desert said...

It is now 23.30 your time, Carl and Haaretz reports the Saudis said no such thing!

I put it on my blog that the Saudis cleared their airspace for Israeltoo but I will leave it up. :)


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