Riyadh
8 August 2023

Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen indicated that “the Saudis made several demands of the U.S., which, in their view, are key to advancing the normalisation process with Israel. Most of these request concern Iranian aggression and the kingdom’s ability to defend itself against this threat”. He further asserted that “a nuclear-armed Iran is no mere hypothetical threat. If the regime builds a nuclear weapon, it would almost certainly ignite a regional nuclear arms race… The U.S.’s defence commitment acts as South Korea’s deterrent against Northern aggression. A comparable American defence pledge could reassure Middle Eastern nations, primarily Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states”. Cohen also argued that “a united front, bringing together moderate Sunni nations and Israel, would be an effective check on Iran’s growing ambitions”, adding: “This solution is no substitute for the ceaseless efforts of the international community, and of Israel, to prevent the Iranian ayatollah regime from attaining nuclear military capabilities. The way to achieve this is through international economic and diplomatic pressure and a credible military threat that will force the Iranian regime to recalculate its path”.

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