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Middle East

Saudi denies contact with Israel on Iran

Riyadh dismisses possible cooperation with Israel to stop Iran from developing a nuclear warhead.

Last updated: 18 Nov 2013 16:20
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A recent IAEA report found that Iran had slowed down its nuclear programme [EPA]

Saudi Arabia has ruled out any contact with Israel, with which it has no diplomatic ties, after a British newspaper reported that the two countries could coordinate efforts against Iran.

The kingdom "has no relations or contacts with Israel of any kind or at any level," said a foreign ministry spokesman, quoted by state news agency SPA on Monday.

Under the headline "Two old foes unite against Tehran," Britain's Sunday Times newspaper said Israel and Saudi Arabia were working together on "contingency plans for a possible attack on Iran if its nuclear programme is not significantly curbed."

"As part of the growing cooperation, Riyadh is understood already to have given the go-ahead for Israeli planes to use its airspace in the event of an attack on Iran," it said.

The Saudi spokesman said the report was "completely unfounded".

The Israeli and Saudi governments are convinced that the international talks to place limits on Tehran’s military nuclear development will do little to slow its development of a nuclear warhead.

Widely believed to have a formidable nuclear arsenal itself, Israel has refused to rule out bombing Iran's facilities, as it reportedly did with an Iraqi reactor in 1981 and a Syrian facility in 2007.

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