TEHRAN, Mar. 19 (Press Shia) – In a new post on his Twitter account, Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif lashed out at US and European trio for selling arms to monarchies of the Middle East and posing pressure on Iran to abandon its defense systems.
At the time that France, Germany, and UK have joined US in a call for negotiating over Iran’s missile program, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif condemned, in a post on his Twitter account, the hypocrisy of westerners in selling arms to some countries of the region and at the same time calling for dismantling Iran’s defense missile program.
“‘Customer Service’ pledge by US/E3 arms producers: “Buy our weapons & our governments will provide after-sales support by pressuring your neighbor to dismantle its defenses.” Sheer hypocrisy of whining about Iran’s defensive missiles while pouring >$100Bs of arms into our region,” tweets Mr. Zarif.
The international transfer of weapons to the Middle East has risen dramatically over the past five years, with Saudi Arabia’s imports for 2011-15 increasing by 275% compared with 2006–10, according to an authoritative report.
Britain sold more weapons to Saudi Arabia than to any other country. Saudi Arabia is also the biggest US arms market and buys more American arms than British, the report shows.
UK companies are estimated to have sold more than $7.8bn of arms to the Saudis since 2010, and more than 100 new export licenses have been approved since the bombing of Yemen began in 2015. British Typhoon strike aircraft sold to Saudi Arabia are embroiled in a growing controversy over the bombing of civilian targets in Yemen.
According to an April report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), Saudi Arabia spent $63.7 billion in its military sector in 2016, making it the world’s fourth largest military spender.
Saudi Arabia, which is widely considered a key sponsor of extremist terrorist groups across the world, is now leading a deadly war on Yemen which has claimed the lives of over 13,600 (out of which are more than 5000 are estimated to be civilians) and wounded 49,960 so far.
Saudi Arabia has also deployed military forces to Bahrain to help the Manama regime crack down on anti-regime protests there.