Report: Gulf states looking to buy Israel-developed defense systems in massive deal

Purchase could potentially reach hundreds of billions of dollars, Sky News reports.

October 14, 2015 03:56
1 minute read.

Soldiers stand near the Iron Dome missile defense system outside Tel Aviv.. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

Bahrain and several other Gulf states are in negotiations to buy the Iron Dome defense system and possibly other Israeli-developed weapons for protection from “a growing arsenal of Iranian missiles,” Sky News reported on Tuesday.

Bahrain’s foreign minister, Khalid bin Mohammed, told Sky News that the members of the Gulf Cooperation Council, including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Qatar and Kuwait, are interested in purchasing the Israeli weapon for the entire council.

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“The Israelis have their small Iron Dome. We’ll have a much bigger one in the GCC,” Mohammed said on Tuesday in London.

Mohammed said that interest in the Iron Dome has increased as a result of the Iran nuclear deal, which will loosen sanctions on Iran. The Bahraini foreign minister said the agreement will allow Iran to “stockpile enough missiles to overwhelm any defense system we build in the Gulf.”

The jointly developed US-Israeli systems would be purchased via the US, according to Sky News. 

“Iran has been trying to undermine and topple government in our region for years,” he said.

The Bahraini foreign minister met in London on Tuesday with British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond.

A deal involving several Gulf states could potentially cost hundreds of billions of dollars, Sky News reported.  

Aside from the Iron Dome system, the deal would also include longer range interceptor missiles such as David's Sling, and the Arrow I and Arrow II, capable of intercepting supersonic intercontinental ballistic missiles, according to the report.  

In May, Arabic-language newspaper Rai al-Youm reported that Israel offered Saudi Arabia to use its Iron Dome anti-rocket technology. The offer was made to the Kingdom to defend its border with Yemen that has come under numerous rocket attacks. Saudi Arabia reportedly rejected the offer, according to the London based newspaper.

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