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December 05, 1986 - Image 30

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1986-12-05

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

CHANUKAH GIFT IDEAS

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Continued from Page 28

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30

Friday, December 5, 1986

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HOLIDAY HOURS: Daily 10:00-8:30

Sat. 10:00-5:00
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THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

FINE JEWELERS

Arabia — in the person of
Saudi billionaire Adnan
Khashoggi. It seems that the
Saudis, in their own inimical
style, have decided to hedge
all of their bets in the region.
Like Israel, the Saudis have
wanted to establish links with
potentially more moderate
elements in Iran. These Ira-
nians might play a role in a
postKhomeini power strug-
gle. Saudi Arabia has several
reasons for pursuing such
overtures with Iran.
First, Iran may well win its
war against Iraq. Why not be
on the winning side?
Second, the Saudis have
always been prepared to pay
"protection money" so that
the Iranians do not bomb
Saudi oil ships in the Persian
Gulf or infiltrate Moslem ter-
rorists on the pilgramage to
Mecca.
Third, the Saudis do not
want Iran to stir up other
Shi'ites in the Persian Gulf
states.
Yes, the Saudis were also
financing the Iraqis in the
war. But it was not the first
time that Saudi Arabia was
playing off both sides in a
conflict. "Such behavior is in
keeping with traditional
Saudi foreign policy, which is
always to cover all options,"
Thomas Friedman, Jeru-
salem correspondent of The
New York Times, wrote. "In
addition to currying favor
with Teheran, the Saudis may
also have been trying to pro-
long the war by seeing that
Iran was well stocked. The
Saudis no more care to see a
powerful Iraq again asserting
itself in the Gulf than a vic-
torious Iran."
Khashoggi, who has made
a fortune in selling weapons,
has long had a personal and
professional relationship with
Ya'acov Nimrodi, an Israeli
arms dealer in London.
Nimrodi, who has made a
considerable but much
smaller fortune, served for 10
years as the Israeli Em-
bassy's Air Force Attache in
rIbheran. He speaks Persian.
He is personally close to
Foreign Minister Shimon
Peres and Commerce and
Trade Minister Ariel Sharon,
having set up meetings for
both of them with Khashoggi
in recent years.
According to informed
sources in Washington,
Khashoggi introduced Nim-
rodi to Manucher Ghor-
banifar, an Iranian arms
dealer in London who is
plugged into the top Iranian
leadership, especially to
Prime Minister Musavi and
Parliament Speaker Rafsan-
jani. Ghorbanifar was anx-
ious to obtain more U.S.
weapons and critically-needed
spare parts.
Not long after this Saudi-
Israeli-Iranian back channel

was opened, senior U.S. of-
ficials entered the picture,
also agreeing to cooperate in
the new strategy toward Iran.
In late spring 1985, then-
National Security Adviser
McFarlane and then-Finance
Ministry Director-General
David Kimche met in Wash-
ington and agreed on a
general approach, which
quickly won the blessing of
President Reagan. Besides a
joint appreciation of Iran's
strategic important, critical
to both the U.S. and Israel
was that Saudi Arabia was
also seen as being on board.
Khashoggi does not do
anything without first clear-
ing it with King Fand and
others in the Royal Family.
As further evidence that the
Saudis were warming up to
the Iranians, U.S. and other
diplomatic sources in Wash-
ington cite King Fand's deci-
sion to remove Oil Minister
Ahmed Zaki Yamani from his
post earlier in November.
Khashoggi was reported to
have been instrumental in
setting up this ouster as a
means of appeasing Iran.
Yamani's policy of lowering
international oil prices has
greatly angered the Iranians,
who are dependent on oil ex-
ports for much of the funding
of their military machine.
Thus, Khashoggi was clear-
ly willing to cooperate with
Israel in the effort to open up
links to Iran. Curiously,
therefore, former Secretary of
State Alexander Haig's sup-
posedly silly concept of forg-
ing a "strategic consensus"
among America's friends in
the Middle East — including
both Israel and Saudi Arabia
— appeared to be actually
falling into place. Many tradi-
tional Middle East specialists
in Washington had ridiculed
Haig's highly-publicized no-
tion, arguing that the Saudis
and other more moderate
Arabs — except Egypt and
maybe Jordan-- would never
join forces in any common
strategy with Israel. But
Haig really did know what he
was talking about.
Khashoggi had the go-
ahead to establish ties with
Israel — and he did. Since the
early 1980s, for example, he
has worked closely with
Nimrodi. The Saudi billion-
aire, who truly sees himself as
a bridge between Arab and
Jew in the search for peace in
the Middle East, also met
with other Israelis, including
Peres and Sharon. He met
with Peres at the Regency
Hotel in New York during
Peres' first visit to the U.S. as
Prime Minister in 1984. He
earlier had met with Sharon
in Africa. Nimrodi was in-
strumental in setting up both
of those meetings.
According to the Cairo-

Continued on. Page 32

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