The Mossad is working with Saudi officials on contingency plans for a potential attack on Iran in the event that Tehran’s nuclear program is not sufficiently curbed in the deal that may be concluded between Iran and world powers in Geneva this week, The Sunday Times reported.
Both Jerusalem and Riyadh have expressed displeasure at the deal being formulated between Iran and the P5+1 group of world powers that they see as doing little to stop Tehran’s progress toward a nuclear weapon.
According to the Times, Riyadh has already given its consent for Israel to use Saudi airspace for a potential attack on Iran.
The paper quoted a diplomatic source as saying the Saudis were willing to assist an Israeli attack by cooperating on 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,” the Times quoted the source as saying.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said in an interview with French daily Le Figaro on Saturday that there is a “meeting of the minds” between Israel and the “leading states in the Arab world” on the Iran issue – “one of the few cases in memory, if not the first case in modern times.
“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.”
Saying that an Iran with nuclear arms would be the most dangerous development for the world since the mid-20th century, and stressing that the “stakes are amazing,” Netanyahu urged the world’s leaders to pay attention “when Israel and the Arabs see eye-to-eye.”
“We live here,” he said. “We know something about this region. We know a great deal about Iran and its plans. It’s worthwhile to pay attention to what we say.”
Netanyahu made the comments as French President Francois Hollande was set to arrive in Israel for talks on Iran on Sunday.
French objections are widely viewed as having held up an agreement with Iran last Saturday night in Geneva. The nuclear talks are set to resume in Geneva on Wednesday, and US officials have suggested that a deal may likely be signed.
Diplomatic officials said one reason for France’s tough position on Iran – the toughest position among the P5+1 states that also include the US, Russia, China, Britain and Germany – has something to do with its close ties to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, which are as adamantly opposed to Iran getting nuclear weapons as is Israel.