Even though the Gulf States refuse to recognize the fact that Israel exists as a sovereign state, they are reaching out for help acquiring defensive technology, largely against Iran.
As the Gulf region continues to devolve into chaos, with Iran attempting to overthrow multiple internationally-recognized governments, the Gulf Cooperation Council has reached out to Israel for help.
Member countries with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) are in talks to buy Israel’s Iron Dome short-range missile shield as a measure of defense against “a growing arsenal of Iranian missiles,” Sky News reports.
GCC member countries include Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, and the UAE, none of which recognize the Jewish State.
The Iron Dome has shown proven success on the battlefield in recent years. During Israel’s most recent flare-up with Palestinian terror group Hamas, the Iron Dome intercepted a remarkably high percentage of incoming rockets, saving countless civilians in the process. About 90 percent of the rockets that were fired into Israeli population centers were intercepted by the Iron Dome in the 2014 war, up from 85 percent in the 2012 conflict between Israel and the terror group.
Both sides are also negotiating over Israel’s long and medium range interceptor systems, such as David’s Sling, Arrow I, and Arrow II, according to the report. The systems are not heavily battle-tested, but Israel’s defense industry claims they can intercept a supersonic intercontinental ballistic missile.
“The Israelis have their small Iron Dome. We’ll have a much bigger one in the GCC,” Bahraini foreign minister Khalid bin Ahmed al Khalifa said during a recent trip to London.
The threat posed by the Iranian regime has created a common interest for the Arab states and Israel, Khalifa explained.
“Iran has been trying to undermine and topple government in our region [sic] for years,” he said. Iran will “put a lot of money into this program to develop techniques and tactics to defeat our missile defenses.”
Bahrain and the GCC remain doubtful that the nuclear deal negotiated between the P5+1 world powers and the regime in Tehran will result in regional stability.
“The agreement between Iran and the 5+1 group on the Iranian nuclear programme in July 2015 does not eliminate all sources of tension resulting from Iran’s attitude towards the countries of the region,” Khalifa said Thursday.