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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran Press TV

Israel to ask US for advanced weapons after F-35 jets sale to UAE: Report

Iran Press TV

Monday, 07 September 2020 8:40 AM

Israel will ask the United States for advanced weapons to maintain Tel Aviv's alleged "military edge" in the Middle East after it failed to block the sale of American-made F-35 stealth fighters to the United Arab Emirates, a report says.

Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper reported on Sunday that Israel's ministry of military affairs may ask the US to move forward the supply of advanced weapons systems by one year.

The New York Times reported on September 3 that Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has privately gone along with a plan for the US administration to sell advanced weapons, in particular US-made F-35 stealth fighter jets, to the UAE despite his public opposition. Netanyahu later denied the report.

On August 31, Israeli minister of military affairs Benny Gantz said Israel will retain its alleged "military edge" in the region despite any possible deals, hinting that Tel Aviv would demand compensation for any arms deal signed between the US and the UAE.

"We also make deals with the United States, and we can also get more platforms and systems. This is not a one-sided deal."

Gantz and US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper spoke by telephone on September 4 and discussed the UAE normalization deal.

"Both leaders exchanged views on how recent developments will advance shared US-Israeli defense priorities, and committed to maintaining an open dialogue about potential avenues for cooperation," the US Department of Defense said in a statement.

Israel and the UAE on August 13 reached a deal that will lead to a full normalization of diplomatic relations between the two sides, in an agreement apparently brokered by US President Donald Trump.

The agreement sparked anger in the Middle East and elsewhere, with Palestinian leaders describing it as a "stab in the back" by an Arab country.

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