Monday, February 26, 2007

poison pill

i wonder if articles like this one might make an israeli attack on iran less likely:
Three Arab states in the Persian Gulf would be willing to allow the Israel Air force to enter their airspace in order to reach Iran in case of an attack on its nuclear facilities, the Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Siyasa reported on Sunday.

According to the report, a diplomat from one of the gulf states visiting Washington on Saturday said the three states, Qatar, Oman and the United Arab Emirates, have told the United States that they would not object to Israel using their airspace, despite their fear of an Iranian response.
this report follows earlier reports claiming that israel is seeking permission from the u.s. to use iraqi airspace to hit iran. of course even if they get permission to use iraqi or gulf airspace that won't get them to iraq. any israeli planes would have to cross syria, jordan or saudi arabia before it got to the gulf states or iraq.

i think syria can be ruled out from the start. jordan might be a possibility, but if it used jordan and iraq, israel wouldn't need permission to fly over qatar, oman or the UAE. the only reason it would need their permission is if it was going over saudi arabia. but that reminded me of this quote from sy hersh's piece:
"We have two nightmares," the former [saudi] diplomat told me. "For Iran to acquire the bomb and for the United States to attack Iran. I’d rather the Israelis bomb the Iranians, so we can blame them. If America does it, we will be blamed."
the public disclosure that israeli planes may use gulf airspace, airspace that can only be reached by israel if it flies over saudi territory, is equivalent to the disclosure that israelis must have a secret deal to use saudi airspace. but the saudi regime simply can't be seen as aiding an israeli attack in any way. if there is a secret israeli-saudi deal, this disclosure from the gulf states could have killed it.

(first link via LA)