Report: U.S. Plan Seeks Israel-Saudi Normalization in Exchange for Silence on Iran Deal


Iran’s domestically built centrifuges are displayed in an exhibition of the country’s nuclear achievements, in Tehran, Feb. 8. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

Strategic Affairs Minister Ron Dermer, National Security Advisor Tzachi Hanegbi, and his senior deputy Gil Reich are all in Washington for meetings with senior White House and state officials, ahead of critical decisions regarding Iran and Saudi Arabia. 

According to a report in Yisrael Hayom, their meetings will focus on two critical issues: the U.S. administration’s renewed push for a deal with Iran and the possibility of advancing the normalization of ties with Saudi Arabia. Behind the scenes, the Americans see the two issues as interconnected.

Amid Iran’s nonstop effort to enrich uranium, the United States is trying to calm the region down and diplomatically stop Iran from reaching its goals. To overcome Israel’s opposition to such a move, the Americans have raised the idea of advancing normalization between Israel and the Saudis in return for Israel’s silence in the face of a deal with the Iranian regime.

Former diplomatic officials told Yisrael Hayom that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu would be inclined to accept such a deal, but there are those who say that it would show submission.

According to the former officials, “The fact that Israel has not made any public moves to oppose the deal shows that there are agreements behind the scenes. Otherwise, Netanyahu would have acted as he did in 2015.”

Despite these claims, Israel denies that it is not working to oppose the deal. A source in Netanyahu’s office responded to the report, “The state of Israel did not change its stance. Israel is working in every available way, through every channel, and through every rank to oppose any attempt to allow Iran to obtain nuclear capabilities and weapons.”

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