Former Israeli, Saudi Arabian officials talk Iran nuclear threat at DC event

Like Saudi Arabia, Amidror noted that Israel would also meet the threat if Iran decided to weaponize its nuclear technology.

May 7, 2016 05:26
2 minute read.
A man holds up a sign as he and several thousand other protestors demonstrate during a rally

A man holds up a sign as he and several thousand other protestors demonstrate during a rally opposing the nuclear deal with Iran in Times Square. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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The old adage proclaiming that the "enemy of my enemy is my friend" was on full display Thursday evening when a retired IDF general sat down with the former intelligence chief of Saudi Arabia to discuss the current tumult facing the Middle East,  according to CNN.

Maj. Gen. Yaakov Amidror (res.) along with Prince Turki al-Faisal spoke at the The Washington Institute for Near East Policy in the US capital, where the two discussed a number of security topics including the Iranian nuclear threat and America's varying role in the region.

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"We are both exes," Faisal said, reminding the audience that the two were private citizens and no longer represented their respective governments.

The most pressing issue facing the two historic adversaries presently is arguably Iran, which both countries believe aims to develop nuclear weapons. According to foreign media reports, Israel and Saudi Arabia have quietly been cooperating with one another for "years" among shared security concerns, despite the Islamic kingdom's refusal to acknowledge the existence of the Jewish state.

During their discussion, Faisal said that "all options" would be available to the Saudi regime concerning Iranian nuclear proliferation, including the its own "acquisition [of] nuclear weapons... to face whatever eventuality might come from Iran."

Like Saudi Arabia, Amidror noted that Israel would also meet the threat if Iran decided to weaponize its nuclear technology.

"In principle, the Iranians can go nuclear and from the Israeli point of view, this is a threat to existence," Amidror said. "We will not let this happen."

Since last year's signing of the historic Iranian nuclear agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, both governments have voiced displeasure at the United States' handling of the Islamic Republic and underestimating the threat Tehran poses to the region.

Amidror predicted Iran would move towards building a bomb "toward the end of the agreement," which limits the Republic's ability to develop nuclear technologies for a maximum of 15 years, according to CNN.

Switching topics, both men spoke on the importance of the strong security relationship they have with the United States. Faisal noted, however,  that for Saudi Arabia, the rapidly shifting dynamics in the region meant that his country would need to readjust certain aspects of their decades-long alliance with the US.

"[The] strategic relationship with the US will remain, from the Saudi point of view," Faisal said, but added "there needs to be a re-evaluation and re-calibration of the relationship." 

As for Amidror, he said that those "who think other countries can do what the United States used to do is a big mistake," and said that he understood the Obama administration's desire to vary its approach to the Middle East,  CNN added.

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