Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad 370 (R).
(photo credit: REUTERS/Stringer)
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Saturday criticized regional governments for purchasing arms from "arrogant powers," an apparent reference to the US and its western allies, Iranian state news agency IRNA reported.
Although he failed to specifically mention the names of the regional governments, his comments appeared to be directed toward Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states who have made large arms purchases from the US.
"If their goal in purchasing arms is to fight the Zionist regime of Israel, they should know that there is not need to do so," Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying during a tour of the northeastern Iranian province of Khorassan Razavi. He added that merely cutting links with "the Zionists" would be enough to bring about the end of the Israeli regime.
"If the rulers are wise enough, they will not sell their petrol to pay 60 billion dollars to others for arms," Ahmadinejad reportedly said.
The United States announced last year
plans to sell $29.4 billion in fighter jets to Saudi Arabia.The sale covers 84 new Boeing F-15 fighters with advanced radar equipment and digital electronic warfare systems plus upgrades of 70 older F-15s as well as munitions, spare parts, training, maintenance and logistics.
The US gave assurances to Israel that the sale would not affect Israel's "qualitative military edge" in the region and would actually serve to boost Israeli security in the region by "bolstering moderate allies in the Gulf," especially in light of Israel and the Gulf country's shared beliefs about the need to curb the influence of Iran. Reuters contributed to this report.