Will the Sunni Saudis side with the Jews against Shiite Iran?
The Sunday Times today reports that Saudia Arabia has quietly let Israel know that “that Saudi Arabia would turn a blind eye to Israeli jets flying over the kingdom during any future raid on Iranâ€™s nuclear sites.”Â Israel’s Prime Minister promptly denied it.
But it makes sense, given that the Saudis and other Arab countries are fearful of a nuclear-armed Iran. This may affect my earlier belief that Israel would not attack Iran anytime soon.Â Israel flew back and forth over Saudi airspace in its 1981 strike on Iraq’s nuclear reactor, but flew low to avoid Saudi detection. I assumed it would be too risky to do the same for the much-longer flight to Iran, but if the Saudis were on board …
Ironically, Saudi cooperation in this way would increase the chance of a confrontation between Israel and the United States.Â A glance at the map on the earlier post shows that a Saudi flight path means the Israelis would fly across the entire width of U.S.-controlled Iraqi airspace, whereas the Turkey route would send the planes over only the northern tip of Iraq.