Is Saudi Arabia working with Israel on an Iran strike?
That is the contention of the UK Sunday Times, as noted by the Times of Israel:
According to the Sunday Times, Riyadh has agreed to let Israel use its airspace in a military strike on Iran and cooperate over the use of rescue helicopters, tanker planes and drones.
"The Saudis are furious and are willing to give Israel all the help it needs," an unnamed diplomatic source told the paper.
While Israel and Saudi Arabia face a common mortal enemy in Iran, most observers of the Kingdom believe that any arrangement that does not have plausible deniability would mean the end of the Royal Family's rule. As Rick Moran pithily put it, "If it was ever confirmed the royal family would be dead meat." Demonization of Israel has been a staple of life in the Arab world, nowhere more so than Saudi, custodians of the holy cities of Mecca and Medina. After all, next in line in the "holy city" rankings is Jerusalem, or, as the Arabs call it, Al Quds.
But by Orthodox Sunni lights (and Saudi Arabia is the most Orthodox Sunni country on earth), the Shiites of Iran are dangerous heretics who split the ummah at the time of Mohammed's grandson's birth. Mor importantly, the mullahs of Iran want to seize not just Mecca and Medina but also the oil producing eastern provinces of Saudi Arabia, which most inconveniently have a large Shia population ruled by Sunnis in Riyadh.
Of Iran gets the A bomb, I believe they are more likely to attack Riyadh than Tel Aviv. When it comes to score settling, fights within a family are usually more vicious than fights outside. Look at the troubles they had in Northern Ireland, for instance. Or ask any cop about domestic disturbance calls.
I am no expert on the internal security of the Saudi regime, but suspect that if they think they can get away with covertly aiding an Israeli strike, they will do so. Perhaps not just overflight permission, but actual use of a remote airbase or two near the Iranian border, to allow multiple sorties buy Israeli craft. I am not sure how well they could make stick a denial of helping out the hated Jews, but let's face it: The Israelis are no threat to the regime, and the mullahs would take great delight in hanging the entire Saudi Royal Family.
Rick Moran also points out that Saudi Arabia allowed Israeli overflights during the attack ont he Osirak nuclear facility in Iraq, and then hastily denoucned the attack as an outrage. That could be the model for an attack on Iran