Ties with Iran lead to catastrophe, Netanyahu warns Saudi Arabia

“Ninety-five percent of the problems in the Middle East emanate from Iran,” Netanyahu says.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

Following a historic rapprochement between Saudi Arabia and Iran, which saw the two countries pledge to restore diplomatic ties after Chinese-brokered talks, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned the Gulf Kingdom about the potential consequences of trusting Tehran.

“Those who partner with Iran partner with misery. Look at Lebanon, look at Yemen, look at Syria, look at Iraq,” Netanyahu said during an interview with CNBC on Wednesday evening.

“Ninety-five percent of the problems in the Middle East emanate from Iran,” he added.

Saudi Arabia and Iran have been engaged in a proxy war for nearly a decade, with Riyadh growing closer to Israel and coordinating on security issues with Jerusalem during that time period.

Netanyahu said he believes that the normalization of ties between the two countries did not stem from a genuine desire to be allies, but rather to end their long-simmering conflict.

“I think it has probably a lot more to do with the desire to de-escalate or even eliminate the long-standing conflict in Yemen,” he said.

“I think that Saudi Arabia, the leadership there, has no illusions about who are their adversaries, and who are their friends.”

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The premier has hinted for years that a peace deal with Saudi Arabia is on the horizon, but the country’s recent resumption of ties with Iran and its willingness to engage with the Hamas terror group has cast doubt on the possibility of normalization with Israel.

However, Netanyahu expressed optimism that Riyadh could still join the Abraham Accords.

“We’d like very much to have peace with Saudi Arabia. Because I think it would be another huge quantum leap for peace. In many ways it would end the Arab-Israeli conflict,” he said.

“We would like to expand the circle of peace to its totality,” he added.

Saudi Arabia has publicly maintained that they will not consider normalization with Israel until a Palestinian state is established.