Monday, September 28, 2009
Riyadh “Offers Airspace” for Israel Attack on Iran
Israeli fighter jets have been allowed to use Saudi airspace to launch go-it-alone air strikes on Iranian nuclear installations, says a recent report.
The issue has been discussed in a closed-door meeting in London, where British Intelligence Chief Sir John Scarlett his Israeli counterpart, Meir Dagan, and Saudi official have been present Daily Express.
According to the report Scarlett has been told that Saudi airspace would be at Israel's disposal should Tel Aviv decide to move forward with his military plans against Iran.
The British daily added the likelihood of an Israeli attack against Iran has increased significantly after the country announced plans to launch its second enrichment facility in the central city of Qom.
In line with its policy of nuclear transparency, Iran announced the construction of a second enrichment plant in a letter to the UN nuclear watchdog on September 21. The new plant is due to produce enriched uranium up to 5 percent.
The letter was sent 12 months before the agency's regulations oblige its members states to inform of new developments.
With eyes firmly fixed on Iran's nuclear progressions, the right-wing government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly threatened to bomb the country's enrichment facilities out of existence.
Tel Aviv accuses Tehran of nuclear weapons development - a charge rejected by both Iran and the UN nuclear watchdog, which has so far made "21 unannounced inspections" of the country's nuclear facilities.
The UN nuclear watchdog in its previous reports has confirmed that Iran only enriches uranium-235 to a level of "less than 5 percent."
Uranium, which fuels a nuclear power plant, can be used for military purposes only if enriched to high levels of above 90 percent.
Details of the controversial Israeli plans to attack Iran emerged after John Bolton, the former US ambassador to the United Nations, recently told a group of intelligence analysts that “Riyadh certainly approves” of Israel's use of Saudi airspace in the event of war with Iran.
Bolton, had previously said he had discussed the possibility with Saudi officials in closed-door meetings. “None of them would say anything about it publicly but they would certainly acquiesce in an overflight if the Israelis didn't trumpet it as a big success.”
The recent revelations follow a flurry of media reports in July, which suggested the Saudi government had approved the use of its airspace for an attack.
While Saudi officials deny having diplomatic ties with Tel Aviv, an Israeli defense source has confirmed that the Mossad spy agency maintained “working relations” with the kingdom.
According to a study published by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a military exchange between Iran and Israel could result in the death of as many as 6 million people.