US military chief Chuck Hagel is to finalize weapons deals worth USD10 billion to Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) during his visit to the region next week with the stated objective of countering Iran.
The American officials, who have described the deal as second only to the USD29.5 billion sale of F-15 jetfighter to Saudi Arabia in 2010, “declined to identify the new missiles to be sold to Saudi Arabia and the UAE, except to say that it is an advanced class of precision ‘standoff munitions’ – those designed to be launched from warplanes safely distant from ground target,” The New York Times reports Friday.
The daily further cites “one senior official” as saying that the sale of the missiles, which would fit Saudi Arabia’s 84 F-15 aircraft and the 26 F-16 jetfighters that UAE is purchasing under the current deal, is to “address the threat posed by Iran.”
The report, however, does not explain the nature of the so-called “Iran threat,” suggesting that the Obama administration is engaging in further efforts to incite regional conflicts in the Middle East region.
The US, Saudi Arabia, UAE and the Israeli regime are all partners in supporting armed militants, including al-Qaeda-linked terrorists, to destabilized and overthrow the government of President Bashar Al-Assad in Syria.
According to the report, the key goal in finalizing the deal, after “a year of secret negotiations,” was “to ensure that Israel continues to field the most capable armed forces in the region to deter Iran and counter a range of threats.”
US officials emphasized that the Israeli regime received further assurances that the use of the advanced missiles sold to Saudi Arabia and the UAE would be “monitored” by the US Air Force and that “any deployment would occur only after consultation with the American,” the daily adds.
The report further quotes a senior Obama administration official as adding, the objective was “not just to boost Israel’s capabilities, but also to boost the capabilities of our Persian Gulf partners so they, too, would be able to address the Iranian threat – and also provide a greater network of coordinated assets around the region to handle a range of contingencies.”
It describes other regional “security risks” as the unrest in Syria, involving foreign-backed militant gangs, as well as “militant violence in the Sinai Peninsula.”
Under the deal, all three countries would be allowed to buy advanced weapons from American contractors, although the Israeli regime will also receive over USD3 billion in military aid over the current fiscal year despite massive US budget cuts.
Additionally, the arms deal would provide the Israeli military with “new missiles designed to take out an adversary’s air-defense radars, as well as advanced radars for its own warplanes, new refueling tanker planes and – in the first sale to any foreign military – the V-22 Osprey troop transport aircraft.”
The report also underlines that American congressional members, predominantly pro-Israeli, were after assurances within the weapons package that it would be in line with US policy of guaranteeing the Zionist regime’s “qualitative military edge” over all countries in the region.
The daily further points out that the new generation of American KC-135 refueling tankers planes, which are being provided to the Israeli regime under the deal, “would let Israel’s warplanes stay in the air longer, an ability essential for any long-range mission.”
It then goes on to mention repeated Israeli threats to strike Iran over its nuclear energy program as the objective of including the Kc-135 refueling aircraft in the deal.
Meanwhile, top Iranian officials have discounted Israel’s repeated military threats as a publicity campaign, making clear that if the regime dares to take any military action against the Islamic Republic, Tel Aviv would immediately be reduced to rubble by an Iranian response.
In a recent message on the occasion of Nowruz (Persian New Year) on March 21, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei emphasized that Iran would raze Tel Aviv to the ground if the Zionist regime carries out a military strike against the Islamic Republic.
“Israel’s leaders sometimes threaten Iran, but they know that if they do such damned thing, the Islamic Republic will raze Tel Aviv and [the occupied city of] Haifa to the ground,” the Leader stated.
Iranian authorities have also warned that any efforts by the US to take part in any military action against the country on its own or on behalf of Israel, Tehran’s response against American interests would extend far beyond the immediate region.