Saudi Arabia felt exposed by the West's response to Iranian threats, leading to the renewed relationships between the two countries, a senior Israeli political figure has said, commenting on the news of the newly-strengthened diplomatic relationship between the two middle eastern countries.
"We need to understand why it happened and when. It started about a year ago, in a round of meetings between the two," he noted and added that "it started largely as a result of Saudi Arabia feeling that the West's position towards Iran was weak."
"When you look at when this [diplomatic] process started, it happened during that period. The West's position has changed since then, but not enough."
He also added that "the Saudis felt very exposed and asked for a balance. The stronger the Western position is towards Iran, the less significant the formal relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran will be."
He emphasized that "this will not make it difficult for the Abraham Accords to proceed. What will determine their outcome is not the formal relationship, but the strength and determination that Saudi Arabia recognizes on the western side. The greater determination they recognize, this will lead to Saudi conduct that we will be satisfied with."
The source also explained, against the background of the recent storm caused by Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich and the harsh American response to it, that Israel's international relations will not be harmed as a result.
There is more going on below the surface that is not being seen. Netanyahu is busy with the Iranian and Saudi issues far beyond what can be described."
"Israel's contacts with countries in the region are very frequent and continuous," he concluded.
Netanyahu's Italy visit
The official also commented on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's recent meeting with Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni. "The issue of Iran was very strong in the discussion, we discussed very specific and concrete things," he said.
This senior official elaborated on the mission and goals of Netanyahu's official visit to Rome. "Another issue is Italy's supportive position for us in the European Union, we do not always receive much sympathy there. It was important to fortify the aggressive position against Iran, and against those who attack us. The Prime Minister was very impressed by her vision on the subject.
"Meloni expressed interest in strengthening cooperation between the countries, they have a major water crisis in the country, and Israel is one of the leaders in the field. The two did not discuss the gas agreement with Lebanon."