Saudi-Israeli action on Iran is common interest, diplomat

Interview with Naor Gilon, Israel's ambassador to Italy

25 September, 15:07

    (by Elisa Pinna). (ANSAmed) - ROMA, 25 SET - Israel and Saudi Arabia have a ''joint interest'' in countering the danger constituted by Iran for the whole Middle Eastern region. It is not ''an alliance'' but a possibility to ''act together'', already ''an important point'', Israel's ambassador to Italy, Naor Gilon, told ANSA in an interview.

    Gilon attended in Rome a congress on 'Iran towards an agreement, opportunity or threat', which also saw the participation of Saudi officials.

    The Israeli diplomat has no doubts: the agreement forged last July in Vienna among member countries of the UN Security Council (notably the United States), Germany and Iran is a threat.

    And that is true for different reasons, he explained. First of all, because the accord actually does not eliminate the possibility for Tehran's regime to build nuclear armaments, just slowing down the process yet leaving Iran with all the capabilities to obtain an atomic bomb shortly. Secondly, observed Gilon, during negotiations for the agreement, only the nuclear issue was discussed without confronting the expansionist and destabilizing policies of the ayatollahs in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Bahrain (a country they consider as part of Iranian territory, according to the diplomat) and Iranian aggressiveness towards Israel through allies Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon.

    Even after the agreement's signature, top Iranian authorities continue to represent a threat for the United States and Israel, observed the ambassador. ''Only two days ago, the head of the Iranian army announced that in 25 years the Israeli State will be destroyed''.

    Moreover, with the agreement and the end of the embargo, Iran will gain once again control of funds that were frozen and, through new trade agreements, will have a huge quantity of money available for its military objectives, added Gilon.

    ''Those stating that Iran is a stabilizing force in the Middle East, have understood nothing of the region'', commented the diplomat. He believes the area is threatened by two factors: ISIS and Iran. ''Iran - he stressed - is the most dangerous because it is a state with a strong structure, meaning to dominate the entire region, sparking even more tension with the Sunnis and a possible competition of all for the atomic'' bomb.

    Though ISIS and Iran are enemies, the equation ''the enemy of my enemy is my friend'' is not true in the Middle East, warned the ambassador, addressing westerners who hope that Tehran will help them defeat the Caliphate.

    The diplomat ruled out any possibility of talks between Israel and Iran until there is a ''regime that includes in its program the destruction of Israel''.

    As far as Saudi Arabia is concerned, ''we have a convergence of interests: we see Iran with the same eyes''. ''We are certainly not at an alliance but we can move in the same direction'', he noted. ''Also from the Saudi side, there is much less animosity towards Israel'', he said. ''The level so far is that of informal contacts but the convergence of interests is already a good starting point''.

    As far as the relationship between a democracy like Israel and an ultra-conservative Islamic state like the Saudi Kingdom, the ambassador says there is nothing shocking about it.

    ''We are pragmatic and also, think about the cooperation between the United States and Riyadh''. The Saudi representative, Abdulateef Al Muhlin, a journalist from Arab News, addressed the congress organized by the 'Center of studies - Digital Democracies', confirming Saudi fears over an agreement not eliminating the Iranian nuclear threat.


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