In private talks with European sources, the Saudis have expressed their willingness to cooperate with Israel on Iran, including use of Saudi air space by the IDF for a possible air strike, according to a report by Channel 2. Cooperation with Saudi Arabia would not come free, however. According to the report, the Saudi officials said they would need to see progress between Israelis and Palestinians before having enough legitimacy to allow Israel to use their air space.
Arab governments, not only Israel, have been expressing concern over the development of a deal with Iran over its nuclear program, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday. Talks with Iran over its nuclear program have instilled fear within some major Sunni states, such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates that a nuclear arms race will break out in the region, and brought about speculation regarding the possible extension of a US nuclear umbrella to its non-nuclear-armed Middle East allies.
According to the Wall Street Journal, concerned Arab states said that a nuclear deal allowing Iran to keep its nuclear-producing technologies would likely drive nations in the region to develop nuclear capabilities in order to match those of Iran’s. An Arab official, according to the WSJ, said that the collapse of negotiations with Iran is preferable to a bad nuclear deal – a comment similar to those previously iterated by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
US and Arab diplomats say that, although Arab nations have avoided matching statements made by Israel, they share many of the same fears regarding a nuclear deal with Iran, the Wall Street Journal reported. Reports that the United States was negotiating a 10-year nuclear deal with Iran are not true, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said on Tuesday. The Wall Street Journal reported that the United States and Iran were exploring the option of a 10-year nuclear freeze as part of talks over Tehran’s nuclear program.
**Reuters contributed to this report