A Swiss newspaper, Basler Zeitung, reported recently that a secret alliance between "Israel" and Saudi Arabia aimed at restraining Iran's imperial desire for a land mass between Tehran and the Mediterranean was moving into a new phase. While there aren't formal diplomatic ties between the two countries, military cooperation does exist. In fact, the Saudi government sent a military delegation to "Jerusalem" [al-Quds] several months ago to discuss Iran's role as a "destabilizing" force in the region.
Now it appears that officials in Saudi Arabia are considering the purchase of "Israel's" Iron Dome missile defense system, as well as the Trophy Active Protection System developed by Rafael and "Israel" Aerospace. Seen against a backdrop in which Riyadh rejects any official normalization with "Israel", this development is quite remarkable. It also bespeaks a new-found respect for "Israel" and an emerging belief that in any Sunni defense condominium "Israel" will have a role to play.
It is instructive that neither Saudi Arabia nor Egypt was actively hostile to the address change for the American Embassy in "Jerusalem" [al-Quds]. They voted to repudiate the decision in the UN vote on the matter, but that was the end of it. The tide of alliance building is moving in a new and unpredictable direction in the Middle East.
The Saudi stance is ostensibly related to a Palestinian-"Israeli" deal on a "two-state solution", but the reality is that Iran is the real threat that poses the greatest danger to Riyadh. An "Israel" with its advanced technology has become an ally of necessity, not necessarily an ally of long-term common interests, albeit history has a way of uniting unlikely bedfellows.
A recent missile fired from Yemen to Riyadh awakened the Saudi leadership to their vulnerability. Hence, the interest in the Iron Dome. The missile - identified as Ansarullah fired - had all the markings and signature of an Iranian weapon. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said this was an "Iranian act of war." Saudi Arabia has resources, but despite the military training of the crown prince, the Saudis are not yet prepared to go to war against Iran. They will build and train and purchase advanced technology, but they will not revert to war, not yet anyway.
This explains why the Iron Dome is so critical as a strategic defense. It is impossible to know if the Ansarullah will launch again soon. But there is every indication that will be the case...
The shakeout in the Middle East will have many turns and missteps. For now, it provides an interesting opportunity for "Israel"... "Israel" has been surrounded by "hostile" nations. That may change in the years ahead.
Imponderables fill the Middle East air. Will demonstrations against the Iranian government lead to its fall? Will the crown prince's desire to modernize Saudi Arabia and seize control of military affairs work? Will the Egyptian war in the Sinai against "ISIS" and al-Qaeda forces be successful? Will the United States continue to be an active participant in Middle East affairs? Is Russia prepared to make continued sacrifices to secure Bashar Assad's position in Syria? These questions and a host of others dot the landscape.
If the Saudi-"Israeli" alliance yields some form of regional stability, many of the issues described above disappear.
Source: Washington Times, Edited by website team