Israeli opposition leader Yair Lapid said Thursday that he would welcome a normalization deal with Saudi Arabia, but warned that an agreement must not enable Riyadh to gain a path to acquiring nuclear weapons.
“A normalization agreement with Saudi Arabia is a welcome thing. But not at the cost of allowing the Saudis to develop nuclear weapons. Not at the cost of a nuclear arms race throughout the Middle East,” Lapid said in a statement.
“The Saudi crown prince already spoke yesterday about the possibility of Saudi Arabia having nuclear weapons. All his life, Netanyahu fought precisely against such moves. These are the foundations of our nuclear strategy,” he said.
“Strong democracies do not sacrifice their security interests for politics,” Lapid warned. “It is dangerous and irresponsible. Israel must not agree to any type of uranium enrichment in Saudi Arabia.”
The US is reportedly pushing the Zionist entity and Saudi Arabia to clinch a normalization deal, and as part of the potential agreement, Riyadh is asking for a civilian nuclear program.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, in addressing the issue on Wednesday, warned against nuclear escalation in the region but said that if Iran acquires a nuclear weapon, Saudi Arabia will need one also.
The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has told top Israeli nuclear and security experts to cooperate with US negotiators on a proposal for a “US-run uranium enrichment operation” in Saudi Arabia, as part of a potential normalization deal between the occupation regime and Riyadh.
For his part, Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen said Thursday that the last details could be finalized as early as the start of 2024.
“The gaps can be bridged,” Cohen told Army Radio. “It will take time. But there is progress.”
Source: Israeli media