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Parry writes: "According to an Israeli media report, Saudi Arabia has agreed to let Israeli warplanes fly over Saudi territory to save fuel while attacking Iranian nuclear sites, the latest indication of how the two former enemies have developed a behind-the-scenes alliance that is reshaping geopolitics in the Middle East."

Saudi prince Bandar bin Sultan (left) and Saudi king Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (right). (photo: Press TV)
Saudi prince Bandar bin Sultan (left) and Saudi king Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (right). (photo: Press TV)


Saudis Said to Aid Israeli Plan to Bomb Iran

By Robert Parry, Consortium News

26 February 15

 

As the Obama administration is rushing to complete a nuclear agreement with Iran and reduce regional tensions, the Israeli media is reporting on a deal with Saudi Arabia to let Israeli warplanes transit Saudi airspace en route to bombing Iran, reports Robert Parry.

ccording to an Israeli media report, Saudi Arabia has agreed to let Israeli warplanes fly over Saudi territory to save fuel while attacking Iranian nuclear sites, the latest indication of how the two former enemies have developed a behind-the-scenes alliance that is reshaping geopolitics in the Middle East.

“The Saudi authorities are completely coordinated with Israel on all matters related to Iran,” a European official in Brussels told Israel’s Channel 2 in a report broadcast on Tuesday and described in other Israeli media outlets.

Riyadh’s only condition was that Israel make some progress in peace talks with the Palestinians, a stipulation that may be mostly cosmetic so the Saudis can save face with other Arab states without really interfering with an Israeli flyover to strike Iran.

Disclosure of this Israeli-Saudi military cooperation comes as the United States and five other world powers rush to finish an agreement with Iran to curtail but not eliminate its nuclear program, which Iran says is only for civilian purposes. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is set to appear before the U.S. Congress on March 3 to undercut President Barack Obama’s negotiations.

The reported Saudi permission for Israeli warplanes to take a shorter route to bomb Iran also suggests that Netanyahu may be laying the groundwork for his own plans to attack the Iranian nuclear sites if the international negotiations are successful. Netanyahu has denounced a possible deal as an “existential threat” to Israel.

In recent years, Israel and Saudi Arabia have quietly begun cooperating on a range of mutual interests with the goal of blunting Iran’s regional influence. For instance, they have sided with rebels fighting to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, an Iranian ally, even if the victors might be Islamist radicals affiliated with al-Qaeda or the Islamic State.

Elements of the Saudi royal family have long been known to support Islamist militants, including forces associated with al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. Earlier this month, the New York Times reported that convicted al-Qaeda operative Zacarias Moussaoui identified leading members of the Saudi government as financiers of the terrorist network.

According to the story, Moussaoui said in a prison deposition that he was directed in 1998 or 1999 by Qaeda leaders in Afghanistan to create a digital database of the group’s donors and that the list included Prince Turki al-Faisal, then Saudi intelligence chief; Prince Bandar bin Sultan, longtime Saudi ambassador to the United States; Prince al-Waleed bin Talal, a prominent billionaire investor; and many leading clerics.

“Sheikh Osama wanted to keep a record who give money,” Moussaoui said in imperfect English — “who is to be listened to or who contributed to the jihad.” Moussaoui also said he discussed a plan to shoot down President George W. Bush’s Air Force One with a Stinger missile with a staff member at the Saudi Embassy in Washington, at a time when Bandar was the ambassador to the United States and considered so close to the Bush family that his nickname was “Bandar Bush.”

Moussaoui claimed, too, that he passed letters between Osama bin Laden and then Crown Prince Salman, who recently became king upon the death of his brother King Abdullah.

While the Saudi government denied Moussaoui’s accusations, Saudi and other Persian Gulf oil sheikdoms have been identified in recent years as financial backers of Sunni militants fighting in Syria to overthrow Assad’s largely secular regime, with al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front the major rebel force benefiting from this support.

Shared Israeli Interests

The Israelis also have found themselves on the side of these Sunni militants in Syria because the Israelis share the Saudi view that Iran and the so-called “Shiite crescent” – reaching from Tehran to Beirut – is the greatest threat to their interests.

In September 2013, Israel’s Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren, then a close Netanyahu adviser, told the Jerusalem Post that Israel favored the Sunni extremists over Assad. “The greatest danger to Israel is by the strategic arc that extends from Tehran, to Damascus to Beirut. And we saw the Assad regime as the keystone in that arc,” Oren told the Jerusalem Post in an interview.

“We always wanted Bashar Assad to go, we always preferred the bad guys who weren’t backed by Iran to the bad guys who were backed by Iran.” He said this was the case even if the “bad guys” were affiliated with al-Qaeda.

In June 2014, speaking as a former ambassador at an Aspen Institute conference, Oren expanded on his position, saying Israel would even prefer a victory by the brutal Islamic State over continuation of the Iranian-backed Assad in Syria. “From Israel’s perspective, if there’s got to be an evil that’s got to prevail, let the Sunni evil prevail,” Oren said.

That hostility toward Assad’s regime has taken a tactical form with Israeli forces launching attacks inside Syria that benefit Nusra Front. For instance, on Jan. 18, 2015, Israel attacked Lebanese-Iranian advisers assisting Assad’s government in Syria, killing several members of Hezbollah and an Iranian general. These military advisers were engaged in operations against Nusra Front.

Meanwhile, Israel has refrained from attacking Nusra militants who have seized Syrian territory near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. One source familiar with U.S. intelligence information on Syria told me that Israel has a “non-aggression pact” with Nusra forces, who have even received medical treatment at Israeli hospitals.

Israel and Saudi Arabia have found themselves on the same side in other regional struggles, including support for the military’s ouster of the elected Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt, but most importantly they have joined forces in their hostility toward Shiite-ruled Iran.

I first reported on the growing relationship between Israel and Saudi Arabia in August 2013 in an article entitled “The Saudi-Israeli Superpower,” noting that the complementary strengths of the two countries made their alliance a potentially powerful influence in the world. Israel could wield political and media clout while the Saudis could use their oil, money and investments.

At the time, the story was met with much skepticism, but, increasingly, the secret alliance has gone public. On Oct. 1, 2013, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu hinted at it in his United Nations General Assembly speech, which was largely devoted to excoriating Iran over its nuclear program and threatening a unilateral Israeli military strike.

Amid the bellicosity, Netanyahu dropped in a largely missed clue about the evolving power relationships in the Middle East, saying: “The dangers of a nuclear-armed Iran and the emergence of other threats in our region have led many of our Arab neighbors to recognize, finally recognize, that Israel is not their enemy. And this affords us the opportunity to overcome the historic animosities and build new relationships, new friendships, new hopes.”

The next day, Israel’s Channel 2 TV news reported that senior Israeli security officials had met with a high-level Gulf state counterpart in Jerusalem, believed to be Prince Bandar, the former Saudi ambassador to the United States who was then head of Saudi intelligence.

Even the MSM

The reality of this unlikely alliance has now even reached the mainstream U.S. media. For instance, Time magazine correspondent Joe Klein described the new coziness in an article in the Jan. 19, 2015 issue.

He wrote: “On May 26, 2014, an unprecedented public conversation took place in Brussels. Two former high-ranking spymasters of Israel and Saudi Arabia – Amos Yadlin and Prince Turki al-Faisal – sat together for more than an hour, talking regional politics in a conversation moderated by the Washington Post’s David Ignatius.

“They disagreed on some things, like the exact nature of an Israel-Palestine peace settlement, and agreed on others: the severity of the Iranian nuclear threat, the need to support the new military government in Egypt, the demand for concerted international action in Syria. The most striking statement came from Prince Turki. He said the Arabs had ‘crossed the Rubicon’ and ‘don’t want to fight Israel anymore.’”

Israel and Saudi Arabia also have collaborated in efforts to put the squeeze on Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, who is deemed a key supporter of both Iran and Syria. The Saudis have used their power over oil production to drive down prices and hurt Russia’s economy, while U.S. neoconservatives – who share Israel’s geopolitical world view – were at the forefront of the coup that ousted Ukraine’s pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych a year ago.

Saudi hostility toward Russia also surfaced in 2013 when Bandar met Putin and delivered what Putin viewed as a crude threat to unleash Chechen terrorists against the Sochi Winter Olympics if Putin did not reduce his support for the Syrian government.

According to a leaked diplomatic account of a July 31, 2013 meeting in Moscow, Bandar informed Putin that Saudi Arabia had strong influence over Chechen extremists who had carried out numerous terrorist attacks against Russian targets and who had since deployed to join the fight against the Assad regime in Syria.

As Bandar called for a Russian shift toward the Saudi position on Syria, he reportedly offered guarantees of protection from Chechen terror attacks on the Olympics. “I can give you a guarantee to protect the Winter Olympics in the city of Sochi on the Black Sea next year,” Bandar reportedly said. “The Chechen groups that threaten the security of the games are controlled by us.”

Putin responded, “We know that you have supported the Chechen terrorist groups for a decade. And that support, which you have frankly talked about just now, is completely incompatible with the common objectives of fighting global terrorism.”

Bandar’s Mafia-like threat toward the Sochi games – a version of “nice Olympics you got here, it’d be a shame if something terrible happened to it” – failed to intimidate Putin, who continued to support Assad. But Putin became obsessed with security at Sochi, distracting him from the worsening crisis in Ukraine where Yanukovych was ousted in a neocon-orchestrated coup on Feb. 22, 2014, a day before the Olympic torch was extinguished.

Now, with Obama nearing a possible agreement to rein in but not end Iran’s nuclear program – against the wishes of the Israeli-Saudi tag team – the leak in the Israeli media suggests that Netanyahu with the support of Saudi Arabia’s royal family may be contemplating his own bombing campaign against Iran.

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+40 # Activista 2015-02-26 11:54
Israeli-Saudi global terrorist team .... using ISIS to attack SHIA - terrorize. Who is selling arms to these countries?
USA ....
 
 
+1 # RGV.REG 2015-02-27 20:53
I AGREE !
 
 
-37 # Dennis Newman 2015-02-26 12:32
Sorry, this -- Israeli-Saudi cooperation in the face of a common enemy, Iran -- is no different from the limited U.S./Soviet alliance against the Reich, or any of a myriad other examples. Parry's attempt to link Israel's limited cooperation with Saudi Arabia with the horrific things that some Sunnis do, is deliberate and false, just as it would be deliberate and false to accuse FDR with supporting Stalinim's murderous hegemony.
 
 
-29 # Seadog 2015-02-26 12:48
Your right, its a prime example of the enemy of your enemy is your friend rule. Israel and Saudi Arabia have a common foe with the Islamic ( Shia style) Theocracy of Iran. Of course there is no love lost between the Saudis and the Israelis other wise. Your example of our alliance with Stalin in WW2 is a very good example of this kind of alliance.
 
 
+24 # jdd 2015-02-26 13:08
The alliance between the US and USSR was not merely tactical and was fully supported by FDR. It was intended to carry over into full decolonization of the third world the post-war period. It was sabotaged by Churchill and his dupe Truman in order to save the rotten British Empire. Read Elliott Roosevelt's "As He Saw it," for proof. It may not fit your Russophobic view of history but "dems da facts."
 
 
-9 # Dennis Newman 2015-02-26 17:09
Russophobic? Because I pointed out that Stalin was a murderous dictator? I am no expert in the machinations of that era's heads of state, nor claim to be, but know enough to stand by comment, and to be pretty sure the facts indicate that both FDR and Truman sought to delimit Stalin's avaricious international power-grabbing even while they cooperated with him vis-a-vis the Reich.
 
 
+14 # reiverpacific 2015-02-26 17:30
Quoting jdd:
The alliance between the US and USSR was not merely tactical and was fully supported by FDR. It was intended to carry over into full decolonization of the third world the post-war period. It was sabotaged by Churchill and his dupe Truman in order to save the rotten British Empire. Read Elliott Roosevelt's "As He Saw it," for proof. It may not fit your Russophobic view of history but "dems da facts."

Thank You!
 
 
+8 # Merlin 2015-02-26 16:19
Dennis Newman,
The zionist shill is back!

You sarcastically stated:
Sorry, this…

You are not sorry in the least…

Stop insulting us.
 
 
-13 # Dennis Newman 2015-02-26 17:15
Merlin, your magic is not in your prose. "Sorry" clearly meant that the previous commenter, in my opinion, was mistaken, and that's all. Your comment is a good example of the adage that "words don't mean, people do."

Re: "Zionist," if you mean, supporter of Israel, no problem, but if you think it's a nasty word, it's because there is a problem, and that is that you are a hater, in this case, of the Jewish state.

"Shill" of course is a nasty epithet, and has no substance, just a hurled invective no different from a schoolyard kid yelling "p***y!"

At least trouble to make a logical, fact-based argumetn against something I've stated, which will admittedly take some work on your part, since I'm pretty careful on my facts.
 
 
+6 # Merlin 2015-02-26 22:31
“Sorry” Dennis.

I am not impressed with your excuse for the word “Sorry.” And yes, my use here is meant to be just like yours, Sarcastic.

To set the record straight. I happen to love Jewish people and accept the Jewish faith as the same as any other belief. It is the political Zionist ideology that I disagree with and strongly dislike. So when I call you a Zionist I am referring to your Zionist politics and your enabling of that warmonger Bibi. I have no problem with your belief in Judiasm if that is what you believe. So don’t play that sly game of mixing up the faith of Judiasm with the terrible politics of Zionism. You know the game; its called Anti Semitism. An anti Semite is any one who does not buy your excuses for violence.

Now if you want to think of me as a hater, I accept that label, as I am a hater of all leaders that promote war and murder, as both Bibi is doing in Gaza, and Obama is doing with his droning of sovereign countries.

And BTW, your oh so “civilized” response to me here, is just another scam I don’t accept. The good guy/bad guy trick is passe.

About shill. You are showing your ignorance here. Have you ever looked up the definition of that word? I use it just as its stated in the dictionary. It is not an epithet as you fantasize. You are a shill, pure and simple, in my view. Look it up.
 
 
+16 # reiverpacific 2015-02-26 17:28
Quoting Dennis Newman:
Sorry, this -- Israeli-Saudi cooperation in the face of a common enemy, Iran -- is no different from the limited U.S./Soviet alliance against the Reich, or any of a myriad other examples. Parry's attempt to link Israel's limited cooperation with Saudi Arabia with the horrific things that some Sunnis do, is deliberate and false, just as it would be deliberate and false to accuse FDR with supporting Stalinim's murderous hegemony.

So I take it, you stunningly ignorant git, that -as you're going back a ways albeit in a tortured, coruscated manner- you approved of the UK/US, in the name of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Co -now BP, overthrow of Iran's popularly elected left-center President Mohammed Mossadegu in 1953 from which the middle East and the wider world is still feeling the blowback from what could have been a potentially much more stable and even peaceful region.
The current US administration is wisely (for once) and quietly, trying to cultivate Iran as an ally to stem the dangerous flow of destruction and arms-trading in the area, whilst still kissing the Saudi bums and selling death-dealing equipment to it's younger sister Israel led by a rabid warmonger.
You must be as blinkered as the AIPAC lobby!
 
 
+1 # Arden 2015-03-06 14:20
reiverpacific, you've taught me a new word - just in time. Thanks.

The recent snow coruscated in the sunlight, from particles of what? aluminum? other metals? chem trail residue?
 
 
-16 # overanddone 2015-02-26 12:45
Once again the Saudi's get others to do the fighting for them, better Israel than us.
 
 
+21 # jdd 2015-02-26 13:01
You're joking. What do you think has gone on in Iraq and Afghanistan?
 
 
+38 # jdd 2015-02-26 12:59
What needs be added is that the United States, along with the UK, has been the willing partner to this evil alliance, often providing the men and weapons, going back to the creation of the mujahedeen in Afghanistan and continuing to this day with President Obama's coverup of the Saudi role in 911. The president must be forced to release the 28 pages of the 911 Joint Commission detailing their complicity.
 
 
+19 # wantrealdemocracy 2015-02-26 14:14
Any attack by Israel is funded by the United States. We give them the planes and the bombs. The Saudi's role in 9/11 was minor. They do as the Americans request and I guess the high officials in our government that were working with Israel to do 9/11 were asking their vassal state to pony up to help pay the bill.

We need an impartial investigation about who really was the attacker on 9/11. It is quite clear to anyone with half a brain that the 'official story' is a fiction. 19 Muslim men with box cutters did not bring down 3 steel framed buildings in New York or blow up the records of the millions of dollars gone missing in our military budget. There is a tremendous pile of evidence that Israel and high ranking elected officials and military personnel were involved with the planning, execution and cover up of the facts of 9/11.

You still believe the 'official' story? Be on the watch for the Easter bunny. He'll be hopping down the trail soon.
 
 
-24 # Dennis Newman 2015-02-26 17:25
It never ceases to amaze me how folks with college educations who have reached young adulthood can be so divorced from historicity, so uncognizant of context, and so lacking in intellectual rigor, as to be capable of wallowing in the 9/11 conspiracy movement. The horrific maligning of the Jewish state, which not only knows no limits whatsoever in the bosom of the hard left, they embrace that pet hatred with ever-increasing passion, is always shocking but never surprising, and so the blaming of Israel for al Qaeda's terrorism is as expected as it is sick, warped, monstrous, and malevolent. Your hashtag is a misnomer for "wanttohateunch eckedviaPC."
 
 
+5 # Merlin 2015-02-27 06:01
wantrealdemocracy
Whooee, boy, did you ever drive poor Dennis to distraction! (His post at 17:25 above) The smell of desperation is overpowering in his post! The “overly civilized persona” (or front) he was trying to con me with above, really unraveled here. And he did it all by himself. Here is the real Dennis, showing us who he is, even as he struggled not to let it be seen.

Oh, and Dennis, if you read this, is your post at 17:25 what you would show off as good prose? You criticized mine, so should I “learn” from your effort here? And how about that Easter Bunny? Is he coming yet?
 
 
+13 # ChrisCurrie 2015-02-26 15:07
In the 1980s, President Ronald Reagan allowed the government of Israel to drag us into militarily supporting Israel's invasion of Lebanon. When US Navy ships bombarded villages along the Lebanese coast, Osama Bin Laden (who apparently witnessed that carnage) decided to avenge those atrocities by creating an event that would likewise kill thousands of people "on American soil." That turned out to be TWO attempts to bring down the World Trade Center Towers (the second attempt being "successful" from his point of view). Reagan withdrew Americans forces from Lebanon after a truck bomb attack killed hundreds of American soldiers in an army barracks there in 1983, but that was clearly not the end of that dispute.

Now we can see Israel's Netanyahu seriously preparing to drag the US into a military war with Iran (apparently for his own political gain). We can only speculate as to what the ultimate consequences of such a war will be, but one thing we will almost certainly witness will be the deaths of MOST of the ten thousand or more US military personnel who are presently residing of US ships that are "bottled up" in the Persian Gulf (i.e. "sitting duck targets" for Iranian anti-ship missiles and sea-born vehicles). Keep this in mind as you watch Netanyahu's March 3rd speech to both Houses of our Congress.
 
 
+11 # Aliazer 2015-02-26 15:25
We have been witnessing the advent of a new Hitler during the past several decades and most people are too blind or too dumb to recognize it
 
 
-21 # Above God 2015-02-26 15:32
Bombs away!
 
 
+11 # reiverpacific 2015-02-26 17:31
Quoting Above God:
Bombs away!

"Beneath Contempt".
Keep yer bathroom habits to yerself
 
 
+10 # Johnny 2015-02-26 15:37
Zionist petrodollars have bought everyone in the middle east except Syria, Palestine, Hezbollah, and Iran.
 
 
-13 # Dennis Newman 2015-02-26 17:29
It was Golda Meir who ironically observed in the form of prayer -- I paraphrase -- "So, God, why did you have to give us a parcel of promised land that doesn't have a drop of oil on it?" Only in the past few years has Israel discovered and begun to extract significant reserves from its territory. If you're referring to the industry, well the American arm of it, based in Houston, is just spilling over with Jews, don't you know. (In fact, that industry is nearly devoid of Jews; Johnny is a hate-monger and -peddler.)
 
 
+9 # Johnny 2015-02-26 18:26
"former enemies," my former ass! When did Saudi Arabia ever lift a finger to oppose the Holocaust in which the Zionists, pure Nazi clones, have been exterminating the native people of Palestine?
 
 
+10 # rhgreen 2015-02-26 20:38
Where have you been? The alliance of Israel with medieval Sunni Saudi Arabia against Shiite Iran has been there for a long time. Anyway, neither country has any justification or right in international law to attack Iran. Nor would the U.S. We may not like their political system but then they don't like ours. Nor do I, in either case. Being ruled by corporations and the 1% isn't much better than being ruled by a theocracy. But not wanting to live under another country's political system is not a reason for bombing them. And why shouldn't Iran have nuclear technology, even weapons. We put up with Pakistan, India, and North Korea. And Israel, I might add. Israel won't even allow IAEA inspection of its nukes. Watching Israel's and Iran's behaviour during the last half-century, if I had to choose one of them to be nuclear, it wouldn't be Israel. If they do this, with or without the help of Saudi Arabia, then Iran has every right to retaliate and I hope they make it clear that they will. As for Netanyahu, he should be arrested at the US border and delivered to the International Criminal Court. Of course neither Israel nor the U.S. joined the ICC. Most of the world understands why they didn't.
 
 
+4 # Activista 2015-02-26 21:22
Thank you Roger Green for analysing the different regimes - and, yes - theocracy and plutocracy at the end are the same -
what is pathetic that after disastrous Iraq war, the Netanyahu is pushing US to disastrous Iran war.
US congress did not learn anything - 1% rules.
 
 
+4 # reiverpacific 2015-02-26 22:51
Quoting Dennis Newman:
It never ceases to amaze me how folks with college educations who have reached young adulthood can be so divorced from historicity, so uncognizant of context, and so lacking in intellectual rigor, as to be capable of wallowing in the 9/11 conspiracy movement. The horrific maligning of the Jewish state, which not only knows no limits whatsoever in the bosom of the hard left, they embrace that pet hatred with ever-increasing passion, is always shocking but never surprising, and so the blaming of Israel for al Qaeda's terrorism is as expected as it is sick, warped, monstrous, and malevolent. Your hashtag is a misnomer for "wanttohateuncheckedviaPC."


"----can be so divorced from historicity" ----historerica l -and wantonly so into the bargain!
See my response to y'r first posting re' Mossadegu's Iran and watch that almost hysterical pointing finger; it might in reflection crack y'r mirror from side to side.
 
 
+5 # RMDC 2015-02-27 06:09
The two worst dictatorships in the middle east teaming up to start another war!!!! What else would we expect from the Zionist fascists and the Wahabbi theocrats. What I don't understand is why the US hangs out with these two vicious empires. I guess Obama is doing a little better than most American presidents in giving Netanyahoo the finger. Now he needs to give it to the Saudis.
 
 
+5 # Billy Bob 2015-02-27 09:59
The Saudis don't like the idea of oil anywhere that isn't under their control.
 
 
0 # ericlane 2015-03-01 08:50
To stop a war on Iran, Israeli's need to do one thing; vote the wacko Netanyahu out of office. If they don't, war is inevitable. It's in your hands, Israel. Keep doing the same thing and you will get the same results, more war and more death. Vote Netanyahu out of office and hope for peace and prosperity will be the result.
 

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