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Rasa News Agency - Who Is the Biggest Threat to the Middle East?
Wednesday, August 22, 2018
Service : > Commentary
Time : Thursday, May 24, 2018
News ID: 437872
 
Who Is the Biggest Threat to the Middle East?
Rasa - The United States, whose Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has just asked Iran to dismantle its missile defence program, is the biggest spender of arms in the world, that’s according to a new report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

RNA - The latest report says, in total, countries around the world spent $ 1.739 billion on arms in 2017. The five biggest spenders in 2017 were the United States, China, Saudi Arabia, Russia and India, which together accounted for 60 percent of global military spending. The US alone accounted for more than a third of the world total in 2017 ($695 billion) and it spent more than the next seven highest spenders combined.

 

Saudi Arabia, which is still busy bombing the poorest country in the Arab world - Yemen - is also the biggest spender in the Middle East, the same regime which would like us to believe that Iran and its missile defence program is a threat. SIPRI reports that military expenditure of countries in this region has increased by 41 percent, although it then decreased in some by 16 percent because of the fall in oil prices. However, the spending increased again in 2017 by 6.2 percent with Saudi Arabia being the largest military spender in the region and the third largest in the world.

 

Last but not the least, Israel’s military spending increased by 4.9 percent to $16.5 billion in 2017 as well (excluding about $3.1 billion in military aid from the US). Today Israel is one of the 10 countries with the highest “military burden” in the world (4.7 percent of GDP).

 

These data, combined with other key information on budget spending from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), show that the portion of GDP that Iran spent every year for the military, is much lower than the ones dedicated to the US, Israel and Saudi Arabia. Therefore, it is nonsense when these regimes claim that Iran is a threat to the region.

 

Strange enough, no one at the United Nations ever bothers to criticize this allocation of resources. Regardless of the freedom of each country to spend its budget in the way it prefers in order to guarantee security for its citizens, there is an important aspect to note. The US, Saudi Arabia and Israel spend a lot of money on armaments because they are using them - more specifically firing them. Otherwise no country in its right mind would ever want to waste money on something it knows it won’t use - in this case arms.

 

Put differently, Saudi Arabia has just purchased arms from the US worth over $100 billion. This is more than what the regime could ever need for self-defence. All these armaments will have to be fired someday, and that someday is now. As we speak, Saudi Arabia and its allies are busy using those arms to destroy Yemen and even fuel a new conflict in post-ISIL Syria. They target Syrian army positions and build illegal military bases there because they want a new war. They are even leading their allies to a war with Iran!

 

This should be a wakeup call for the international civil society. The United Nations Security Council should never play along the destabilising policies of these warmongers, which are lobbying for American sanctions and military interventions all over the Middle East. The official line pursued by the US, Israel and Saudi Arabia is almost one that would lead the world to war. This shouldn’t be the official line of the UN. IN these difficult times, the region’s peace and stability may depend upon the UN’s diplomatic capabilities and willingness to forge strong ties with China, Russia, the European Union and other members.

 

According to Fars News Agancy, there is a massive deception campaign in the US and in its global propaganda, which seeks to portray the United States as a poor set-upon nation that would like regional peace, but just has to keep a military stationed around the Middle East to police its allies against so-called “Iranian threat.”

 

In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. That truth is that the US is the biggest warmonger the world has ever known, followed by Israel and Saudi Arabia, two of the biggest recipients of US military aid and weapons sales. The US is also the world’s biggest arms merchant and a promoter of instability within the Middle East. Mind you, the US-led wars on Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Yemen serve as further proof that none of these weapons the US is selling makes either the US or the world any safer.

 

In summation, the threat of Iran is a media hype absent in reality and overblown on a daily basis. With so much American armaments around, Iran sees itself not as a threat but as threatened by America’s hostile allies. It is sad reality that if one wants to get accurate information about this, one must mostly bypass Pompeo’s anti-Iran rhetoric and baseless allegations, and look to sources outside the US government unaffected by the US administration's disinformation campaign.

 

Whatever the reality, the threat from Iran has been overblown for various reasons including by Israel and the Military-Industrial Complex to relieve Persian Gulf Arab States of their money in return for expensive American armaments and by those in Tel Aviv and Riyadh who want to construct a scary enemy to prolong their despotic regimes and attract diplomatic support.

 

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