US approves missile-defense system to UAE, Qatar
The US DSCA (Defense Security Cooperation Agency) has given approval to the possible sales of Lockheed Martin Corp missile-defense system to UAE and Qatar. The deal has come against the backdrop of heightened tensions with Iran. Qatar and the United Arab Emirates have requested the sale of up to $7.6 billion in Lockheed Martin Corp missile-defense systems. UAE and some members in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) had shown interest in the Lockheed’s THAAD (Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense) weapon systems.
What is GCC?
The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is a political and economic alliance which brings together Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman.
Why US approved this sale?
The US has been working with Gulf countries, on a bilateral basis, to enhance the range of radar coverage and related capabilities across the Gulf for the earliest possible defense against any missiles fired by Iran. The sale is aimed at strengthening US cooperation with Gulf nations on missile defense and step-up pressure on Iran over its nuclear program.
The sale is expected to contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the US by assisting two nations that have been and remain key forces "for political stability and economic progress in the Middle East."