Israeli-Saudi Intelligence Ties Stirred, Not Shaken by Iran Rapprochement

(SpyTalk) Jonathan Broder - "The clandestine Saudi intelligence relationship with Israel dates to the early 1960s and has survived many upheavals in the region," said Bruce Riedel, a former CIA Middle East analyst. "It will continue quietly, despite the Saudi-Iran deal to restore diplomatic relations." Since Saudi Crown Prince bin Salman effectively took power in 2016, the kingdom's intelligence relationship with the Mossad has deepened exponentially. In November 2020, the Mossad reportedly tipped off Saudi Arabia about an imminent Iranian attack on its embassy in The Hague, enabling the Saudis to take precautions and avoid suffering any casualties. Last May, Ha'aretz reported that over the preceding decade, several senior Israeli officials, including two Mossad directors, a defense minister and two national security advisers, secretly visited Saudi Arabia for talks with senior Saudi officials. Since then, the Saudi prince has met unofficially with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. James Spencer, a former British military intelligence officer, stresses that the Saudi-Iran competition for influence will remain, resulting in a cold peace rather than warm relations. "So the need for their intelligence relationship will remain, he said, referring to the Saudis and Israelis. "They will absolutely continue to collaborate against Islamist terrorism, and their collaboration will most likely continue on nuclear issues....There will be cooperation where there is mutual interest."

2023-03-20 00:00:00

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