It is too soon to tell if the historic nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers (P5+1) to curb Tehran's nuclear program in exchange for sanction relief will yield the results either party hope to achieve. The hot topic of discussion currently is the various reactions of important regional players such as Israel, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Iraq.
Saudi Arabia was the only major Arab player that took its time to make an official statement and even when they finally responded, the Saudi reaction was vague.
Saudi Arabia said on Monday that Iran's interim nuclear deal with world powers could be a step towards a comprehensive solution of Tehran's disputed atomic program provided there was goodwill.
The instrumental term here being 'if there was goodwill.'
Its obvious that the Kingdom believes that there is no such sentiment where the Iranians are concerned so why not come out and say it like the Israelis?
"Today the world became a much more dangerous place because the most dangerous regime in the world made a significant step in obtaining the most dangerous weapons in the world," Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his Cabinet on Sunday.
The Saudis view Iran as the biggest threat to their leadership in the Middle East and the Kingdom, along with Israel, has previously condemned any agreement that doesn't dismantle Iran's ability to enrich uranium and build a bomb. Saudi Arabia has also repeatedly accused Iran of funding Shiite rebellions in the Gulf countries of Yemen and Bahrain as well as fueling angry sentiments among the kingdom's own Shiite minority.
"I am afraid Iran will give up something on [its nuclear programme] to get something else from the big powers in terms of regional politics. And I'm worrying about giving Iran more space or a freer hand in the region," said Abdullah al-Askar, chairman of Saudi Arabia’s advisory foreign affairs committee.
He made sure to add that this was his personal response to the nuclear deal, according to Reuters.
So why don't the Saudis express their disapproval when the whole world already knows how they feel?
In a candid interview with the Wall Street Journal, the influential Saudi royal Prince - Alwaleed bin Talal – expressed that the agreement that was being negotiated in talks would not remove Iran’s nuclear capabilities. He also agreed with Netanyahu's opinion that Iran’s new ‘liberal’ President, Hassan Rouhani, is "a wolf in sheep's clothing."
The Kingdom has shown its desperation [not to mention hypocrisy] in fighting Iran’s influence in the region by forming an alliance with Israel – its staunch enemy since the Palestinian-Israeli conflict began over 50 years ago.
According to UK’s Sunday Times, Israel’s intelligence agency Mossad is working with Saudi officials on contingency plans for a possible attack on Iran if its nuclear program is not restrained. They quote a diplomatic source saying that Saudi Arabia has agreed to let Israel use its air space, and assist an attack by collaborating on the use of drones, rescue helicopters and tanker planes.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did tell the French daily Le Figaro that there was a “meeting of the minds” between Israel and the “leading states in the Arab world” on the Iran issue.
Even the prince expressed his astonishment over the common ground these two enemies have found. "For the first time, Saudi Arabian interests and Israel are almost parallel," he told the WSJ. "It's incredible."
Iran Nuclear Deal Highlights
- Iran must stop enrichment of uranium above 5% purity.
- Iran must "Neutralize" its stockpile of near-20%-enriched uranium.
- Iran cannot build any more centrifuges (the machines used to enrich uranium) or enrichment facilities
- Iran must give daily access of its nuclear sites to IAEA inspectors.
- P5+1 must provide "limited, temporary, targeted, and reversible [sanctions] relief".
- P5+1 will not impose any more nuclear-related sanctions if Iran meets the above commitments.
- P5+1 will relieve Iran of certain sanctions on trade in gold and precious metals, Iran's automotive sector, and its petrochemical exports
- P5+1 will transfer $4.2bn to Iran in installments from sales of its oil.