Posted by Curt on 8 May, 2016 at 4:24 pm. Be the first to comment!


The Daily Wire:

At a discussion sponsored by The Washington Institute for Near East Policy on Thursday evening, Saudi Prince Turki al-Faisal, the Kingdom’s former intelligence chief, voiced his skepticism about the nuclear deal between the United States and its Western allies and Iran before suggesting that his country may very well have to counter future Iranian hostilities with nuclear weapons. “All options” are on the table, Turki said, echoing a refrain heard from Saudi officials for months. The Saudi prince left little doubt that his country would do everything in its power to protect itself, “including the acquisitions of nuclear weapons, to face whatever eventuality might come from Iran.”

In a sign of the times, Turki shared the platform with Israeli Army Maj. Gen. Yaakov Amidror, a former adviser to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. While Saudi Arabia and Israel still have no formal diplomatic ties, the two countries have stepped up backdoor communications in the wake of the Iran deal.

Both officials spoke in unison about the perceived threat to the region emanating from Shiite powerhouse Iran. “In principle, the Iranians can go nuclear and from the Israeli point of view, this is a threat to existence,” Amidror warned. “We will not let this happen.” The Israeli official added that he expects Iran to ultimately build a nuclear weapon “toward the end of the agreement,” over the next 10 to 15 years, if not sooner.

Prince Turki also stressed that the already unstable region needs to avoid nuclear proliferation as the consequences of an all-out arms-race could be dire. The Middle East needed to be a “weapons of mass destruction free zone,” stated the Saudi official.

Despite intense agreements about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the two officials reaffirmed their commitment to a de facto Saudi-Israeli alliance. “Cooperation between Arab countries and Israel in meeting threats, from wherever they come, whether Iran, is better fortified if there is peace between the Arab nations and Israel,” Turki proclaimed.

This comes as both countries pull away from the United States. The Obama administration’s rapprochement with Iran has effectively reconfigured the geopolitical chessboard in the Middle East, with the United States moving closer to Shia Iran at the expense of its decades-long relationship with the Sunni Gulf States and Israel.

In response, the Kingdom has reportedly been shifting away from its alliance with the US, strengthening its political and economic partnerships with Sunni allies and forging new agreements with emerging economies like China.

The “strategic relationship with the U.S. will remain, from the Saudi point of view,” but “there needs to be a re-evaluation and recalibration of the relationship,” Turki stated at the discussion in Washington.

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