U.S. May Sell Missile Defense Weapons to Saudi Arabia
The Washington Post reports that in addition to the sale of fighter aircraft (called the largest of its kind), the U.S. may sell Saudi Arabia missile defense weapons worth billions to help the country bolster its defense against Iran. An excerpt:
“‘The U.S. is trying to create the strongest effort to deter and contain Iran,’ said Anthony Cordesman, a scholar at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. ‘If you look at all of these sales, the U.S. is working to create a Saudi Air Force that is far more capable than Iran. These sales help give Saudi Arabia the capability to convince Iran that it can’t use missiles or air power against Saudi Arabia or its neighbors.’
“Although he said Israel has historically been uneasy with U.S. military sales in the Arab world, he noted that Israel got funding for anti-ballistic missile systems and is among the first customers for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.”
This week, the Obama administration will notify Congress of the impending aircraft sale. Sources report that pro-Israel politicians oppose the deal, citing Israel’s goal to maintain a military edge in the region, while sponsors say Israel is okay with the deal.