Western sources have reportedly revealed that US Secretary of State John Kerry is offering Gulf States an American nuclear umbrella to deal with the Iranian nuclear threat, as Kerry is finalizing a controversial deal with Iran ahead of a March 31 deadline for talks.
The sources spoke to the London-based Arabic language Al-Hayat newspaper, as cited by Yedioth Aharonoth, and said that Kerry while in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, this week intends to present a plan to senior sources in the country.
Through the framework of the plan, the US would provide a sort of nuclear umbrella to the Gulf States as a counterbalance to the Iranian nuclear deal.
According to the report, the plan essentially would have the US defend the Gulf region from any nuclear attack that Iran might launch, in what appears to be a covert acknowledgement that the deal will allow Iran to develop nuclear weapons as Israel has warned.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu just this Tuesday addressed Congress, where he warned that the deal will not remove Iran's nuclear capability, and that Iran is demanding 190,000 centrifuges which would allow it to build a nuclear arsenal within weeks.
He also pointed out that the deal being formulated does not even address Iran's ballistic missile program, which would allow it to launch a nuclear warhead against its neighbors, and further stated that allowing Iran to go nuclear would spark a regional nuclear arms race.
That warning cry was echoed by an unlikely ally, as the editor-in-chief of the English edition of the Saudi-owned and highly anti-Israel Al-Arabiya paper called on US President Barack Obama to listen to Netanyahu, confirming the prime minister's words about regional dangers.
While Washington has claimed it will "confront aggressively" any bid by Iran to expand its regional influence on the ground even if a nuclear deal is struck, Obama has made many overtures asking for an alliance with Iran.
Past agreements in the nuclear negotiations have greatly offended Gulf States, primarily Saudi Arabia, which reportedly is considering approaching Pakistan to obtain nuclear arms of its own if Iran is allowed to go nuclear.