There’s an alliance growing between Saudi Arabia and Israel — and Iran should be worried
Saudi Arabia and Israel both called on Sunday for a new push against Iran, signaling a growing alignment in their interests.
Saudi Arabia and Israel both called on Sunday for a new push against Iran, signaling a growing alignment in their interests, while U.S. lawmakers promised to seek new sanctions on the Shi'ite Muslim power.
Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir called Tehran the main sponsor of global terrorism and a destabilizing force in the Middle East.
He sidestepped a question about Israel’s call for concerted action with Sunni Arab states amid growing speculation that the two countries could normalize relations and join forces to oppose Tehran, much as Turkey has done.
The six Arab members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), especially Saudi Arabia, accuse Iran of using sectarianism to interfere in Arab countries and build its own sphere of influence in the Middle East. Iran denies the accusations.
“Iran remains the single main sponsor of terrorism in the world,” Adel al-Jubeir told delegates at the conference. “It’s determined to upend the order in the Middle East … (and) until and unless Iran changes its behavior it would be very difficult to deal with a country like this.”
Al-Jubeir said Iran was propping up the government of President Bashar al-Assad in the Syrian civil war, funding the Houthi movement in Yemen and fomenting violence across the region.
The international community needed to set clear “red lines” to halt Iran’s actions, he said, calling for banking, travel and trade restrictions aimed at changing Tehran’s behavior.
Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Iran’s ultimate objective was to undermine Riyadh, and called for a dialogue with Sunni Arab countries to defeat “radical” elements in the region.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu also criticized what he called an Iranian “sectarian policy” aimed at undermining Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.
“Turkey is very much against any kind of division, religious or sectarian,” he said. “It’s good that we are now normalizing our relations with Israel.”