Menu JTA Search

Iran’s Recognition of Israel Was Anticipated by Neutral Diplomats

The Christian Science Monitor, in a cable from its correspondent in Beirut, says that Iran’s diplomatic recognition of Israel, which has shocked the Arabs, comes as no surprise to those neutral diplomatic circles aware of the close relationship between Israel and Iran.

Declaring that the action of the Shah of Iran in announcing his recognition of Israel merely confirmed Iran’s long-standing de facto recognition of the Jewish state, the correspondent enumerates the following facts on Israel-Iranian relations which existed even before the formal recognition was announced:

1. Despite official denials, Iranian oil is sold to Israel. Indeed oil from Iran forms a major source of supply for Israel’s expanding pipeline system running from the port of Eilat on the Gulf of Aqaba northward through Israel.

2. Israel maintains a small “Point Four” mission in Iran to advise Iranians on certain technical problems. This is the type of mission which Israel operates effectively in several Asian and newly independent African states.

3. Israel’s El Al Airline flies regularly scheduled passenger flights from Tel Aviv to Teheran. These flights go north from Israel to Turkey, then east to Iran, thus avoiding any overflight of Arab territory.

4. Iran leans heavily on the Israeli intelligence service, assessed by experts as one of the most efficient in the world. This acceptance of Israeli intelligence estimates may partly explain the Iranians’ obvious distrust of Arabs, including Premier Abdul Karim Kassem of Iraq and President Nasser of the U. A. R. Distrust of Arab intentions in the Mideast, and particularly toward Iran’s oil-rich Khuzistan Province, is general among Iranians from the Shah on down.

The correspondent reveals that some months ago the Shah and the Iranian Government were ready to acknowledge their developing relationship with Israel by recognizing the latter state. At that time Iranians reportedly were dissuaded from any immediate move primarily by President Ayub Khan of Pakistan who was hoping to launch some kind of public grouping of all the Islamic countries in the world. However, President Ayub Khan’s initiative toward an Islamic grouping failed to bear visible fruit.

NEXT STORY