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  • Saudi Arabia is purchasing 600 advance Patriot missiles from the United States.

    Saudi Arabia is purchasing 600 advance Patriot missiles from the United States. | Photo: Reuters

Published 30 July 2015

U.S. weapons continue to fuel wars among Arab nations, while Gulf states increase weapons purchases claiming Iran is now a threat.

United States is already profiting from the Iran nuclear deal, as Gulf nations react to the agreement by purchasing massive amounts of U.S. weapons systems, beginning with Saudi Arabia that is buying 600 advanced Patriot missiles worth US$5.4 billion.

The U.S. State Department has already approved the request by Saudi Arabia to purchase the PAC-3 missiles, according to a memorandum the Pentagon sent Congress on Wednesday.

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“The proposed sale will modernize and replenish Saudi Arabia’s current Patriot missile stockpile, which is becoming obsolete and difficult to sustain due to age and limited availability of repair parts,” said the Pentagon’s notice to Congress. “The purchase of the PAC-3 missiles will support current and future defense missions and promote stability within the region.”

According to Russian news outlet RTS, Saudi Arabia already bought a US$2 billion shipment of Patriots in April.

Last week, according to Defense One, the Pentagon purchased US$1.5 billion worth of Patriots intended for Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Taiwan, South Korea and the Saudis.

RT wrote that Gulf Arab states are eager to purchase U.S. counter-missiles, as embargoes on conventional weapons and missiles against Iran are expected to be lifted in the next five to eight years under the terms of a nuclear deal reached in Vienna on July 14.

The United Arab Emirates have already purchased a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system, with a greater reach than the Patriot’s, RT added.

Saudi Arabia and Qatar have also expressed interest in the THAAD, while Qatar is now likely to proceed with the purchase of a missile-tracking radar system, RT said.

In March, the Guardian said the U.S. accounted for nearly half of all arms sales to the Middle East, followed by Russia and the United Kingdom.

Sales of weapons to Gulf states have increased by more than 70 percent over the past five years, according to research quoted by the Guardian.

“We’re going to see more of this,” Thomas Karako, a missile defense expert with the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington told Defense One. “So long as the Iranian missile threat exists, Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and other countries in the region are going to have to invest in counters, offensive and defensive.”

In May, President Barack Obama guaranteed his Arab allies that Washington would “stand by our GCC – Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates – partners against external attacks.”

In 2009, President Obama said if Iran was still a threat, missiles would have to be deployed in Europe nor the Middle East, but apparently he has forgotten those words as the sale of arms and the deployment of missiles and anti-missile systems are increasing now that the nuclear Iranian threat has supposedly been eliminated.

U.S. Weapons Fuel Wars Among Araba States

In April, the Financial Review said that Unites States weapons fueled the wars among Arab states. For example, they said, “To wage war in Yemen, Saudi Arabia is using F-15 fighter jets bought from Boeing. Pilots from the United Arab Emirates are flying Lockheed Martin's F-16 to bomb both Yemen and Syria.”

They added, that, “As the Middle East descends into proxy wars, sectarian conflicts and battles against terrorist networks, countries in the region that have stockpiled U.S. military hardware are now actually using it and wanting more.”

This supports the theory that one of the greatest beneficiaries of a deal with Iran are the United states.

The Financial Review also said the United States will now be more willing to sell massive quantities of weapons to Arab countries, because they no longer represent a threat to Israel. Tel Aviv agrees as they now have a common enemy: Iran.

"When you look at it, Israel's strategic calculation is a simple one," Anthony Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies said. The gulf countries "do not represent a meaningful threat" to Israel, he said. "They do represent a meaningful counterbalance to Iran."

WATCH: Review of the Contradictory Saudi War on Yemen


 
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