Bahrain and several other Gulf states are in negotiations to buy the Israeli-developed Iron Dome defense system for protection from “a growing arsenal of Iranian missiles.”
Bahrain’s foreign minister, Khalid bin Mohammed, told Sky News that the members of the Gulf Cooperation Council, including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Qatar and Kuwait, are interested in purchasing the Israeli weapon for the entire council.
“The Israelis have their small Iron Dome. We’ll have a much bigger one in the GCC,” Mohammed said.
The Iron Dome system has intercepted approximately 85 percent of missiles fired at Israel from the Gaza Strip since it became operational in 2011, according to the Times of Israel. It was produced through American contractors and the Israeli arms firm Rafael.
Mohammed said that interest in the Iron Dome has increased as a result of the Iran nuclear deal, which will loosen sanctions on Iran. The Bahraini foreign minister said the agreement will allow Iran to “stockpile enough missiles to overwhelm any defense system we build in the Gulf.”
“Iran has been trying to undermine and topple government in our region for years,” he said.
A deal involving several Gulf states could potentially cost hundreds of billions of dollars, Sky News reported.