Warming Israel-Saudi relations is an open secret and Iran continues to remain the biggest hindrance to the global ambitions of both the regional “allies”. Recently, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu affirmed that ongoing cooperation with Saudi Arabia against Iran is a greater priority than Riyadh’s “horrendous” murder of its critic Jamal Khashoggi.
- India, Iran, Afghanistan Meet To Discuss Trade Via Chabahar Port
- Indian Real Estate Companies Vying For $500 Billion Saudi Infra Projects
Netanyahu stated at his first public reaction to the assassination of Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. “What happened at the Istanbul consulate was horrendous and it should be duly dealt with. But at the same time, it is very important for the stability of the region and the world that Saudi Arabia remains stable,” the Israeli premier said in Sofia, Bulgaria.
Netanyahu referred to Iran as “a larger problem” compared with the assassination of Jamal Khashoggi and called for finding a way to deal with the case which does not disrupt cooperation with Saudi Arabia against Iran.
His remarks came shortly after The Washington Post revealed that Netanyahu has asked US President Donald Trump to continue supporting Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS). The Israeli PM had asked top US officials recently not to abandon their support for MBS over the killing of Khashoggi, according to multiple media reports.
According to The Washington Post, Netanyahu has specifically told the US that the MBS was a key strategic partner and a linchpin of the US-Israeli face against Iran’s aggression.
Later on Thursday, it was also reported that MBS had met with a delegation of pro-Israeli advocates in Riyadh, led by Joel C. Rosenberg, a dual US-Israeli author and activist who runs the Jashua Fund pro-Israeli charity. Mike Evans, the founder of the Friends of Zion Museum in Jerusalem was also among the participants of the meeting.
Netanyahu said the Khashoggi case should not distract the world from ensuring that Iran does not continue what he called “malign activities it has been engaged in over the last few weeks in Europe.” “Blocking Iran is at the top of our agenda for security, not merely for Israel but I believe for Europe and the world as well,” he added.
Netanyahu’s comments alluded to the accusations levelled against Tehran regarding two assassination and bombing plots in France and Denmark, which Iran calls ‘false flags’ launched by the Israeli spy agency.