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Israel Not Alone in Wanting to Stop Iran

Reports of cooperation between Israel, Gulf States against Iran’s nuclear program

Adam Chandler
October 02, 2013

Given the way that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s United Nations speech is being portrayed, you’d think that Israel is the only Middle Eastern country that is seriously concerned about Iran’s nuclear program. Seriously, New York Times?

But Mr. Netanyahu has hinted so often of taking military action to keep Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon that he seems eager for a fight. He did it again at the United Nations on Tuesday, warning that Israel reserved the right to strike Iran’s nuclear facilities if it deemed that Iran was close to producing nuclear weapons. “Against such a threat, Israel will have no choice but to defend itself,” he said.

The next lines of that UN speech, by the way, were these:

“Yet, in standing alone, Israel will know that we will be defending many, many others. The dangers of a nuclear-armed Iran and the emergence of other threats in our region have led many of our Arab neighbors to recognize, finally recognize, that Israel is not their enemy. And this affords us the opportunity to overcome the historic animosities and build new relationships, new friendships, new hopes.”

So, as it’s often been noted and even more often ignored, Arab countries–some of them sworn enemies of Israel–are very nervous about Iran’s nuclear program. Reportedly so nervous, that they are putting their decades-old objection to Israel’s existence on ice to talk about a military alliance to stop Iran, should it come to it.

According to the report, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been supervising a series of “intensive meetings” with representatives of these other countries. One “high ranking official” even came on a secret visit to Israel, the report said. …

The Gulf States involved in the new talks have no diplomatic ties with Jerusalem, the report noted. What they share with Israel, it said, is the concern that President Hasan Rouhani’s new diplomatic outreach will fool the US and lead to a US-Iran diplomatic agreement which provides for “less than the dismantling of the Iranian nuclear program.

Or as the adage goes: The enemy of my enemy is a friend I have to pretend I’m not friends with.

Adam Chandler was previously a staff writer at Tablet. His work has appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Atlantic, Slate, Esquire, New York, and elsewhere. He tweets @allmychandler.