US-Saudi Arabia seal weapons deal worth $110 billion
Iran Press TV
Sat May 20, 2017 2:40PM
United States President Donald Trump has closed an arms deal with Saudi Arabia worth almost $110 billion, and extending up to $350 billion over 10 years.
The White House announced on Saturday the $110 billion deal will take effect immediately.
"This package of defense equipment and services support the long-term security of Saudi Arabia and the (Persian) Gulf region in the face of Iranian threats, while also bolstering the Kingdom's ability to contribute to counter terrorism operations across the region, reducing the burden on the U.S. military to conduct those operations," the White House said in a statement.
Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson "will attend a signing ceremony for the deals," according to a White House official.
The deal is a victory for Trump as his political pressures intensify at home due to campaign's alleged links to Russia, and the abrupt dismissal of former FBI Director James Comey.
The pact includes a $6 billion contract to assemble 150 Lockheed Martin Blackhawk helicopters in Saudi Arabia, an official statement about the deal said.
The deal also includes a $1 billion THAAD missile system and contract for four multi-mission warships worth $11.5 billion, according to an unnamed official cited in media.
Saudi Arabia is US arms dealers' most important client and Washington's No. 1 ally in the Middle East region.
Also, General Electric company said it signed agreements and memorandums of understanding worth $15 billion with Saudi Arabia on Saturday during Trump's visit to the oil-rich kingdom.
General Electric said it also signed a MOU with oil giant Saudi Aramco "to undertake a digital transformation of Aramco's operations," the statement said.
The MOU signed with Aramco will generate $4 billion in annual productivity improvement, it added.
The Saudi rulers have moved to diversify the oil-rich kingdom's traditionally oil-dependent economy following the sharp fall in crude prices in 2014.
'Saudi threatens military intervention in Iran'
In an interview earlier this month with al-Arabiya TV, Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman rejected the possibility of normalization of ties with Iran, and threatened military intervention in Iran. "We will not wait until the battle is in Saudi Arabia, but we will work so the battle is there in Iran."
Iran has condemned the Saudi deputy crown prince's remarks, saying his diatribe against the Islamic Republic is a proof that the kingdom follows "confrontational and destructive policies" in the region and towards Tehran.
Saudi Arabia has been incessantly pounding Yemen since March 2015 in an attempt to bring back to power the resigned president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, who is a staunch ally of Riyadh, and to undermine the Houthi Ansarullah movement. The Riyadh regime has, however, failed to reach its goals despite suffering great expense.
The military aggression has claimed the lives of more than 12,000 people, most of them civilians.
Since 2011, the Saudi regime has also been sponsoring Takfiri terrorists fighting against the Syrian government, which has left hundreds of thousands people dead and millions more displaced.
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