Ahmadinejad: Israel, U.S. trying to sabotage Iran's relations with Saudi Arabia
Iranian President speaks day after Saudis deny Times report that Saudi Arabia will allow Israel to use its airspace en route to strike Iran.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Sunday charged Israel and the United States of trying to sabotage relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia, a day after Riyadh denied a report in the Times claiming it had agreed to allow Israel to use its airspace to attack Iran.
"Undoubtedly, the U.S. and the Zionist regime are the enemies of Iran and Saudi Arabia, so they are trying to create a gap between Tehran and Riyadh," Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said during a meeting with Saudi Arabia's new ambassador to Tehran.
"If Iran and Saudi Arabia stand together, our enemies won't dare continue with their aggressive behavior, with occupation and pressure on the Muslim world," the Iranian president declared during his speech.
On Saturday, Saudi Arabia's ambassador to Britain, Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf, denied that his country had practiced standing down its anti-aircraft systems to allow Israeli warplanes passage on their way to attack Iran's nuclear installations, the London-based Arabic language paper Alsharq al Awsat reported.
The Times had reported that the Saudis have allocated a narrow corridor of airspace in the north of the country that would cut flying time from Israel to Iran.
Israel and the West accuse Iran of designs on a nuclear bomb, a charge it denies.
"The Saudis have given their permission for the Israelis to pass over and they will look the other way," the Times quoted an unnamed U.S. defense source in the area as saying. "They have already done tests to make sure their own jets aren't scrambled and no one gets shot down. This has all been done with the agreement of the [U.S.] State Department."
Once the Israelis had passed, the kingdom's air defenses would return to full alert, the Times said.
"We all know this. We will let them [the Israelis] through and see nothing," the Times quoted a Saudi government source as saying.
According to the report, the four main targets for an Israeli raid on Iran would be uranium-enrichment facilities at Natanz and Qom, a gas-storage development at Isfahan and a heavy-water reactor at Arak.
Secondary targets may include a Russian-built light-water reactor at Bushehr, which could produce weapons-grade plutonium when complete.