The United States and Saudi Arabia have inked a $110 billion arms deal, the largest in American history, according to senior Trump administration officials who described the agreement as part of a major effort to counter Iranian threats in the region.
The arms deal will see the U.S. providing Saudi Arabia with a “full spectrum of capabilities,” including tanks, artillery, helicopters, armored carriers, combat ships, and an assortment of other advanced weapons systems, according to senior Trump administration officials working on the agreement.
The massive arms package is part of a larger effort by the Trump administration to boost U.S. allies in the region amid a growing threat from Iran, which has invested heavily in its own military since the landmark nuclear agreement was inked with the former Obama administration.
A large portion of the cash assets and other financial resources granted to Iran under the deal have been used to purchase advanced weapons and invest in the country’s ballistic missile program, which violates international agreements.
Trump administration officials touted the agreement, which will be officially announced by President Donald Trump on Saturday as he travels across the Middle East on his first foreign trip, as a major step towards countering Iranian intransigence in the region, which has spooked U.S. allies.
The package of arms is specifically meant to address regional threats, officials said.
“This package of defense equipment and services support the long-term security of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf region in the face of Iranian threats while also bolstering the Kingdom’s ability to contribute to counterterrorism operations across the region, reducing the burden on the U.S. military to conduct those operations,” explained one senior administration official who was only authorized to speak about the agreement on background.
Trump administration officials also maintained that nothing in the mammoth arms package would negate Israel’s military edge in the region, which remains a cornerstone of the U.S.-Israel alliance.
“I also need to stress that there is nothing in this package of sales, taken individually or as a whole, that will undermine Israel’s qualitative military edge,” one senior official said. “As a matter of law and of longstanding policy, the United States is committed to ensuring Israel maintains a qualitative military edge in the region.”