Trump Makes Arms Deal in Saudi Arabia, Crushes Iran
US President Donald Trump, along with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who is accompanying him on the trip, attended a signing ceremony for almost $110 billion worth of defense capabilities to be conveyed to Saudi Arabia, effective immediately. Donald Trump sealed an arms deal with Saudi Arabia worth $350 billion over 10 years.
Tanks, artillery, helicopters, light close air support, intelligence-gathering aircraft, and systems such as Patriot and THAAD are just a few among a large list of weapons and machinery to be sold to Riyadh.
“Offers of extensive training” are also included in the package.
Speaking at a news briefing, Tillerson said the deals send a “strong message to our common enemies.” The US Secretary of State also told the media that a centerpiece of Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia is to curb any threats to the region allegedly posed by Iran, AP reported.
“This package of defense equipment and services supports the long-term security of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf region in the face of malign Iranian influence and Iranian related threats. Additionally, it bolsters the Kingdom’s ability to provide for its own security and continue contributing to counterterrorism operations across the region, reducing the burden on US military forces,” the US Department of State said in a statement on Saturday.
“This package demonstrates the United States’ commitment to our partnership with Saudi Arabia, while also expanding opportunities for American companies in the region,” the statement read.
Riyadh appears to be mobilizing for a confrontation with the Iran.
“We know we are a main target of Iran,” speculated Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS) in an interview early this month.
Then came the threat. “We are not waiting until there becomes a battle in Saudi Arabia, so we will work so that it becomes a battle for them in Iran and not in Saudi Arabia.”
These are fighting words indeed. The Iranians certainly thought so, Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan responding with unusual ferocity: “We warn them (Saudis) against doing anything ignorant, but if they do something ignorant, we will leave nowhere untouched apart from Mecca and Medina.”
In other words, if the Saudis launch direct aggression against Iran, this will be Riyadh’s last war anywhere, ever.
Over the last decade we have seen an increasingly aggressive Saudi Arabia, at war Iranian/Shia enemies.