Israel may join defense pact with Saudi Arabia, UAE
Israel is working on joining an anti-Iran defense alliance with a number of moderate Arab states that would involve sharing Jerusalem’s newly developed anti-missile technologies, a British newspaper reported Sunday.
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The plan would see Israel join with Turkey, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, to create a Middle Eastern “moderate crescent,” according to the Sunday Times, which cited an unnamed Israeli official. Israel does not currently maintain formal ties with Riyadh or Abu Dhabi, and relations with Ankara have been strained since 2009.
According to the report, Israel would gain access to radar stations in Saudi Arabia and the UAE and in exchange share its own early warning radar information and anti-ballistic missile defense systems, though it’s not clear in what form. The report details that Jordan would be protected by Israel’s Arrow long-range anti-missile batteries.
The so-called 4+1 plan is being brokered by Washington, and would mark a sharp shift in stated policy for the White House, which has insisted the US is not interested in containing Iran but rather stopping it before it reaches nuclear weapon capability.
The Sunni states of Saudi Arabia, UAE and Jordan are all opposed to Tehran shifting the regional power balance. Though Turkey maintains strong trade ties with Iran, it has found itself opposed to Tehran over the issue of Syria.
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