‘Israel, Iran have fastest growing defense budgets in Middle East’

London- based global intelligence firm IHS reports that Gulf Arab states have cut spending due to falling oil prices.

December 18, 2015 04:40
1 minute read.
Iran missles

Iran tests new precision-guided ballistic missile‏ [File]. (photo credit: IRANIAN MEDIA)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


Israel and Iran have the fastest growing defense budgets in the Middle East while other Gulf Arab states cut spending due to falling oil prices, according to a report published Thursday.

Worldwide, though, defense spending increased because of security threats, with many Western governments deciding not to make cuts, London- based global intelligence firm IHS said.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

Iran came in second in the world in defense budget growth with a 29 percent increase in 2015. Israel’s growth was around 10%, putting it in 7th and Iraq was 9th with just under 9%.

Ukraine was first with a 90% jump in spending, Russia 4th at 21%, and China 8th with 9%.

The IHS Jane’s Defense Budgets Annual Report examines and forecasts defense expenditure for 104 countries.

“Of the 10 fastest growing defense budgets in 2015, just three were in the Middle East, down from six last year,” said Fenella McGerty, principal analyst at IHS.

Military spending dropped in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, while Oman spent only slightly more, IHS said in the report.


Despite this year’s fall, spending on arms remains substantially higher than four years ago when it was ramped up in the wake of uprisings across the Arab world, which alarmed the region’s conservative rulers.

Gulf Arab states have also built up missile defenses against regional rival Iran.

This year’s cuts come as part of a broad effort to rein in state spending as lower oil prices strain finances in the major oil-exporting countries. Oil prices trade now around $37 a barrel, down from a peak of $115 last year.

Still, Saudi Arabia spent $46.3 billion on defense in 2015, the most in the Middle East and North Africa region and 8th highest in the world, according to the report.

In contrast, Israel’s overall defense spending was $15.6b, the 16th largest and one spot behind Turkey, but just ahead of United Arab Emirates, Taiwan, Spain, and Algeria.

This marks an increase from 2014 when it was ranked 18th with around a $14.2b. budget.

Reuters contributed to this report.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

People speak with Turkish soldiers in the center of Afrin
November 19, 2018
'25 killed' as Turkey battles Syrian fighters accused of 'plundering'