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Iran says $10 Billion Infusion of US Weaponry Will Further 'Destabilize' Middle East

US intends to ship advanced missiles and other arms to region beset with mistrust and threats of war

- Common Dreams staff

As the US State Department pushes to finalize a $10 billion arms deal with Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, Iran on Tuesday said that such a massive infusion of US weaponry would be a destabilizing force in the Middle East.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, left, welcomes U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel at his office in Jerusalem, on Tuesday, April 23, 2013. Hagel said the U.S. and Israel need to ensure that their alliance is "closer than ever." Israel will benefit from a new US arms package. (AP Photo/Jim Watson, Pool) "This kind of aid will only lead to instability and insecurity in the region," said Ramin Mehmanparast, a spokesman for Iran's foreign ministry during his weekly press conference, according to Agence France-Presse.

As the New York Times reported last week:

Under the agreement, each country would be allowed to purchase advanced armaments from American contractors. In the case of Israel, there is also substantial American financial assistance, topping $3 billion in military aid this fiscal year.

Israel would buy new missiles designed to take out an adversary’s air-defense radars, as well as advanced radars for its own warplanes, new refueling tanker planes and — in the first sale to any foreign military — the V-22 Osprey troop transport aircraft.

The United Arab Emirates would buy 26 F-16 warplanes, a package that could reach $5 billion alone, along with precision missiles that could be launched from those jets at distant ground targets. Saudi Arabia would buy the same class of advanced missile.

The deal comes as tensions between Israel and Iran remain heightened, as an ongoing civil war rages in Syria and amid ongoing political violence in nearby Iraq.

Iran has repeatedly said it does not have nor does it desire a nuclear weapons program. Israel, itself an undeclared nuclear power, has repeatedly announced its willingness to attack Iran if they perceive or articulate a threat from their regional neighbor.

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