IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot, in an unprecedented interview between a senior Israeli military officer and Saudi media, said Israel is ready to share intelligence about Iran with Saudi Arabia and other “moderate” Arab states.
“We are ready to exchange experiences with Saudi Arabia and other moderate Arab countries and exchange intelligence information to confront Iran,” Eizenkot told Elaph, a London-based Arabic newspaper tied to Saudi Arabia, adding that “there are many shared interests between us and Saudi Arabia.”
Eizenkot’s statements come amid rising tension between Saudi Arabia and Iran—stemming from a recent attempted rocket strike on the Saudi capital of Riyadh by Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen; the Saudis calling for their citizens to leave Lebanon, where Iran’s Lebanese terror proxy Hezbollah is based; and the sudden resignation of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri in an announcement made from Saudi Arabia.
There has also been increased speculation regarding prospects for deepening Israeli-Saudi ties, despite decades of mutual animosity tied to the Arab-Israeli conflict.
“Under U.S. President Donald Trump, there is an opportunity to form a new international alliance in the region. We need to carry out a large, comprehensive strategic plan to stop the Iranian threat,” Eizenkot said.
At the same time, Israel has expressed deep concern over Iran’s expanding influence in the Middle East.
“This is what should be prevented in the region,” Eizenkot said, adding that “in this matter there is complete agreement between us and Saudi Arabia.”
Israeli satellite photos recently showed that Iran has established a military base just 30 miles from the Israel-Syria border.
“Our demand is that Iran, Hezbollah and other Iranian militias leave Syria. We have said it publicly that we will not accept the Iranian position in Syria in general, and especially their position west of the Damascus-Suwayda road. We will not allow any Iranian presence,” said Eizenkot.