The US State Department has approved the possible sale of a THAAD missile defense system in Saudi Arabia at an estimated cost of $ 15 billion, the Pentagon said on Friday quoting Iran as a regional threat.
The approval paves the way for Saudi Arabia to purchase 44 Terminal High Altitude Area (THAAD) missile launchers and 360 missiles, as well as fire and radar stations.
“This sale promotes the interests of US national security and foreign policy and supports the long-term security of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf region in the face of Iranian and other threats,” the Pentagon said in a statement. a statement. A declaration.
Saudi Arabia and the United States are very critical of what they view as the aggressive behavior of Iran in the Middle East.
Iran also has one of the largest ballistic missile programs in the Middle East, considering it an essential precautionary defense against the United States and other adversaries, including the Arab Gulf States and Israel.
THAAD missile systems are deployed to defend against ballistic missile attacks.
Saudi Arabia’s Al Arabiya television reported on Thursday that the kingdom had agreed to buy Russian S-400 air-to-air missile systems, an advertisement that was published by the Saudi king Salman during his visit in Russia.
US military sales to Saudi Arabia were thoroughly scrutinized by the Saudi-led coalition war in Yemen.
Riyadh and its allies have bombed the Houthis lined up on Iran in Yemen since the Houthis seized much of the country’s north in 2015. Riyadh said the coalition is fighting terrorists and supporting the legitimate government of Yemen, The office of the UN human rights chief said that Saudi Arabia’s air strikes are causing the majority of civilian casualties.
Lockheed Martin Co is the main contractor of the THAAD system, with Raytheon Co playing an important role in the deployment of the system.
The United States deployed THAAD to South Korea this year to protect itself against short-range missiles from North Korea. This has provoked strong criticism from China, which indicates that the powerful radar system can deepen its territory.