Despite having no official diplomatic relations, Saudi Arabia and Israel do have a common goal: targeting and isolating Iran, and ending its support of the Syrian government. Their sabre-rattling may become more than just talk, as they continue to receive money and arms from the U.S.
In February, during the Munich Security Conference, Saudi Arabia joined Israel in calling for sanctions against Iran for its role in supporting the Syrian government. Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir – without a hint of irony – told delegates, “Iran remains the single main sponsor of terrorism in the world.” Across the aisle, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman accused Iran of attempting to undermine Riyadh. This isn’t the first time both countries have used such language against Iran.
While there is no official diplomatic relationship between Israel and Saudi Arabia, both countries have cooperated with one another on the international stage, especially when it comes to dealing with Iran. In response to the Trump administration’s $110 billion weapons deal with Saudi Arabia, Amos Gilad, the former head of Israel’s Political-Military Affairs Bureau, told the Times of Israel that the deal doesn’t hurt Israel because “for now, there’s an alliance between the U.S. and the Arab world against Iran,” adding that countries receiving weapons from the U.S. “are not the ones that harm [Israel’s] security.”
The threats being made against Iran, all of which are coming from countries with highly advanced militaries, are not without teeth. In 2015, during a meeting at the Washington office of the Council on Foreign Relations, former Saudi General Anwar Eshki and former Israeli ambassador Dore Gold spoke of their respective countries’ shared desire to target Iran. Gold warned of an alleged “Iranian expansion” in the region and added that he hoped the meeting would allow for more discussions between Saudi Arabia and Israel about their “common strategic problems.”
During a recent appearance with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Donald Trump alleged that Iran’s so-called “aggression” in the region has spurred what he calls “tremendous progress” between Israel and Saudi Arabia, describing the kingdom’s feeling toward Israel as “very positive.”
As the U.S. continues to pour money and arms into the region, specifically into the military coffers of Saudi Arabia and Israel, Iran will face further isolation and declarations of war. Countless nations have already been targeted by invasion and occupation – it looks as though Iran could be next.