Saudi Arabia says peace with Israel contingent on US backing for nuclear program

Cutting such a deal would be “a very tough Gordian knot,” former envoy Dan Shapiro says. 

By World Israel News Staff

The prospect of a normalization deal between Saudi Arabia and Israel is conditioned on a U.S. commitment to back the Gulf kingdom’s aspirations for a civilian nuclear program, a report by The Wall Street Journal published on Thursday said.

According to the report, however, Washington was not likely to meet the Saudi demands.

Saudi Arabia has long sought to utilize its extensive uranium reserves for a civilian nuclear program.

Riyadh also seeks to gain a commitment from Washington on weapon supplies as well as security guarantees.

Riyadh’s demands constitute “daunting obstacles to a deal, as some Washington lawmakers will likely oppose those measures,” the report said.

It cited former U.S. Ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro as saying that it would be “a very tough Gordian knot to cut.”

According to the report, a normalization deal would mark a “diplomatic victory” for President Joe Biden, who has bristled with Riyadh on several fronts including oil prices and the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Notably, the article made no mention of Palestinian statehood as a precondition for signing a peace deal with Israel – something that Saudi Arabia has on several occasions emphasized would be a prerequisite.