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Iran Nuclear Deal Boosts Saudi Demand for US Weapons Systems

© AFP 2022 / SVEN NACKSTRANDA US Patriot anti-missile battery is set up at a base in Jaffa, south of Tel Aviv, file photo
A US Patriot anti-missile battery is set up at a base in Jaffa, south of Tel Aviv, file photo - Sputnik International
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Saudi Arabia has increased orders for US missile defense systems out of fear that Iran will grow stronger militarily after nuclear sanctions are lifted, former US Assistant Secretary of Defense Lawrence Korb told Sputnik.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — US defense contractors like Raytheon, Korb explained, have increased sales of Patriot missile defense systems to Saudi Arabia because Riyadh fears Iran will pursue missile technologies when sanctions are lifted in eight years as a result of Tehran’s nuclear deal with the P5+1 group of countries.

“The Saudis want the Patriot [air defense] missiles,” Korb said on Monday. “The Saudis feel that with Iran now getting relief from sanctions… they [Iranians] are going to be more aggressive militarily.”

Other Sunni Arab Gulf monarchies, especially the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are also very concerned about a belligerent Shia Iran emerging stronger as a result of the Iran nuclear deal, Korb noted.

The United States, Korb argued, has decided to assuage its Gulf allies by providing them with more arms via private contractors and approving more foreign military sales.

“To show you [Gulf allies] that we [the United States] are on your side, we’ll sell you more weapons.”

The US is relying on defense contractors to fill the void because of Pentagon budget constraints, Korb noted.

“People like Lockheed and Boeing, the major contractors, are doing well. Their profits are up, even though our [US] defense budget has basically been frozen in place since 2011.”

On Monday, Secretary of State John Kerry said that the United States is interested in increasing military aid to the Gulf States.

The United States approved last week a potential multi-billion dollar sale of advanced Patriot surface-to-air defense systems to Saudi Arabia.

On July 14, 2015, Iran and the P5+1 group of countries comprised of the United States, Russia, China, France and the United Kingdom plus Germany, reached a final agreement that will guarantee the peaceful nature of Tehran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.

CC BY 2.0 / Expert Infantry / Best Army Photos 2US soldier uses a pair of binoculars to scans the landscape around his Patriot Missiles based at Al Udeid AB, Qatar
US soldier uses a pair of binoculars to scans the landscape around his Patriot Missiles based at Al Udeid AB, Qatar - Sputnik International
US soldier uses a pair of binoculars to scans the landscape around his Patriot Missiles based at Al Udeid AB, Qatar

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