Saudi Arabia is eager to see Netanyahu emerge victorious in the upcoming elections.
By David Isaac, World Israel News
Who would have thought the Saudis would have become Netanyahu boosters?
A Saudi source with close ties to the Kingdom’s royal family told i24News they are concerned about Israel’s March elections as they don’t want to see Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ousted.
The anonymous source told i24News that Saudi Arabia has come to appreciate Netanyahu for his handling of the Iran issue and the Gulf states.
“[We] … not only like Netanyahu but love him. He is terrific. He has the necessary charisma and he knows what he is doing,” the source said.
“We are really worried the leader of the opposition will replace him, and change things.” he said, referring to Yair Lapid, chairman of the center-left Yesh Atid party.
Another source echoed the sentiment, saying the Saudis view Netanyahu as “the spearhead in the fight against Iran.”
Netanyahu led the charge against the 2015 Iran deal, openly clashing with President Barack Obama. It culminated in a dramatic showdown when Netanyahu addressed a joint session of Congress on March 3, 2015 in which he blasted the proposed deal, then still being negotiated.
Netanyahu’s actions led Israel to enjoy a warming of ties with Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States, which saw eye-to-eye with Israel, opposing the deal because they feared it would lead to a nuclear-armed Iran, the opposite of the agreement’s intended effect.
Following Obama’s departure, Israel and Saudi Arabia enjoyed excellent relations with the U.S. under the Trump administration, which abandoned the Iran deal and re-imposed tough sanctions on the Islamic Republic.
However, with President Joe Biden’s election, Saudi Arabia finds itself on the outs with the administration, which has criticized the Kingdom on human rights issues.
Biden’s administration also has made it a priority to reenter the Iran nuclear deal.