President Obama's attempts to consolidate Arab opposition to Iran in exchange for a peace agreement between the Israelis and the Palestinians seems to be working.
Egypt looked the other way recently when the Israelis steamed a submarine through the Suez Canal during military maneuvers. Sending a clear signal to Tehran that Israel would not hesitate to shortcut through the canal to reach the Persian Gulf should an attack on Iran's nuclear facilities become necessary.
Now the Saudis have given their approval to the Israelis to overfly their nation should Israel's air force attack Iran.
These are huge developments because they further isolate Iran over fears that the regime there would use its developing nuclear weapons technology - not just against Israel - but against other, Arab nations in the region.
The old enemy of my enemy is my friend adage is coming into play. Just as Obama had hoped.
The fact is, the Arab nations know that, despite rhetoric to the contrary, Israel has no expansionist designs on them and, therefore, is far less of a threat than is Iran, which has shown a propensity to interfere with the internal affairs of its neighbors. All the while hypocritically condemning those who interfere in its internal affairs.
Iran is the main protagonist in the region, stirring up anti-Semitic fervor against Israel both directly and through its surrogates. Making the Palestinians the cause celeb that binds the Arab world against Israel.
The worst thing that could happen to the regime in Iran is a real peace accord that ends the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. The second worse thing would be an Israeli attack on Iran's nuclear facilities with at least the tacit approval of the Arab nations.
Without sounding too optimistic about the prospects, both scenarios are now real possibilities. Yes, it's all a very delicate balancing act. But we'll know much more about the prognosis of the Obama high stakes plan following his Russian trip. He's trying to reestablish good relations with Russia. If he's successful, and Russia backs off from its blind support of Iran, the isolation Iran will feel will be burdensome and could lead to some real, positive change in the Middle East.