Saudi King Abdullah (right)
Saudi King Abdullah (right)Israel news photo: Flash 90

The German news magazine Der Spiegel has reported that Saudi Arabia is hoping Israel will strike Iran's nuclear facilities, and is even prepared to open its skies to Israeli warplanes to allow such an operation to take place. Similar reports were published in 2009, and denied by both Israel and Saudi Arabia.

The Der Spiegel report stated that officials in Riyadh had spoken to United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton about the importance of stopping Iran's nuclear program, even if doing so requires the use of military force.

The London Sunday Timesclaimed in 2009 that Saudi Arabia would allow Israel to use its airspace to attack Iran. The paper quoted a former Israeli intelligence officer as saying, “The Saudis are very concerned about an Iranian nuclear bomb, even more than the Israelis.”

Der Spiegel writer Bernhard Zand stated this week, “These days, the Arabs fear the terrorists of al-Qaeda and Iran's leadership, with its rabid rhetoric and nuclear program, as much as the Israelis do. Never before since the time of Israel's creation were Jews and Arabs as united as they are in the face of the Iranian threat.”

Zand accused Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu of failing to take advantage of Israel's newfound common ground with the Arab world.

Iranian media dismissed the Der Spiegal report. “Der Spiegel is greatly influenced by the Israeli regime and has previously published reports that were meant to serve as an Israeli propaganda campaign or psychological warfare against the Islamic Republic,” accused Iran's Press TV. 

The fear of terrorist takeovers of their governments and of Iran's weaponization is the reason several Arab regimes, such as Saudi Arabia and Egypt, do not protest with U.S. military offensives against al-Kaeda and other terrorist groups in Afghanistan and Iraq, even though they are not part of the CENTCOM coalition that fights alongside the U.S.. These regimes are worried that the U.S. response to Iran will be too little and too late, according to a JINSA (the American based Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs) analysis of the issue this week.