Israel’s Protests Are Said to Stall Gulf Arms Sale

Israel’s Protests Are Said to Stall Gulf Arms Sale

It reeks of hypocrisy.

Israel’s Protests Are Said to Stall Gulf Arms Sale
By DAVID S. CLOUD and HELENE COOPER
Published: April 5, 2007

WASHINGTON, April 4 — A major arms-sale package that the Bush administration is planning to offer Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf allies to deter Iran has been delayed because of objections from Israel, which says that the advanced weaponry would erode its military advantage over its regional rivals, according to senior United States officials.

Israeli officials, including the former defense minister, Shaul Mofaz, have come to Washington in recent months to argue against elements of the planned sales. In particular, the Israelis are concerned about the possible transfer of precision-guided weapons that would give Saudi warplanes much more accurate ability to strike targets, officials said.

The United States has made few, if any, sales of satellite-guided ordnance to gulf countries, several officials said. Israel has been supplied with such weapons since the 1990s and used them extensively in its war against Hezbollah last summer.

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