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US economy hangs on Arab arms sales

The US is seeking to ease its financial woes through large-scale sale of arms and military hardware to rich Arab states, says an expert on Middle East affairs.

According to a Monday report by The Financial Times, the US plans to reinforce Arab military power by securing massive arms deals with four Persian Gulf littoral states estimated at an unprecedented amount of USD 123 billion.

Saudi Arabia’s share stands at nearly $67 billion, the UAE at $40 billion, Oman at $12 billion and Kuwait at $7 billion, according to the business daily.

“The deal, which has the potential to create 77,000 job opportunities across 44 states, sounds more like good news for the ailing American economy,” Veteran Mideast analyst Mohioddin Sajedi told Press TV.

The Financial Times report links the new Arab arms race to Iran’s expanding domestic military capabilities.

“It’s a message to Iran that Arab states will have an advantage,” the paper quoted a Saudi source as saying.

Sajedi challenged the speculation, saying that the arms purchase will not serve the interests of the Saudi nation.

The kingdom ranks eight in the list of top 15 countries with the largest military spending.

“Do these contracts benefit the Saudi people who only account for 38 percent of their local work force? Do they help unemployment in a country where roughly 20 percent of college graduates are jobless? Does it help the prosperity level of the general public where 30 percent live in poverty? Is it correct for the Saudi government to spend 10 percent of its entire income on purchasing weapons?” the pundit asked.

Noting the US promise of commitment to Israel’s security, Sajedi said the F-15 jets promised to Saudi Arabia were of a caliber that would pose no threats to Israel’s defense systems.

Sajedi stressed that Saudi officials have never said that their arms stockpile is aimed at scaring Iran.

“Of course Iran — with its military might — has no cause to be intimidated by such threats even if they are voiced,” he said.

“The US arms deals with the Saudi government and other Persian Gulf littoral states indicate that the US has accepted a nuclear Iran and that it wants to reassure the kingdom and its other regional allies it will not be abandoning them,” he concluded.

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