News / Middle East

US Offers $10 Billion Weapons Package to Counter Iran Threats

US Offers $10 Billion Weapons Package to Counter Iran Threatsi
X
April 24, 2013 10:30 PM
U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is wrapping up a trip to the Middle East -- where he delivered a $10 billion weapons package to Israel and some of Washington's Arab allies as a sign of U.S support in the face of Iranian threats. VOA Pentagon correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Luis Ramirez
— U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is wrapping up a trip to the Middle East - where he delivered a $10 billion weapons package to Israel and some of Washington's Arab allies as a sign of U.S support in the face of Iranian threats.

Secretary Hagel's visit to Israel could have been awkward.  He was accused of being anti-Israel during his nomination hearing.  But he got a warm welcome as did the weapons package he took with him.

“The United States will make available to Israel a set of advanced new military capabilities, including anti-radiation missiles and advanced radars for its fleet of fighter jets, KC-135 refueling aircraft, and most significantly, the V-22 Osprey, which the U.S. has not released to any other nation," Hagel said.

The offerings are a clear sign to Iran which poses the biggest threat to Israel and the values it shares with the U.S. - as Hagel was reminded by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“Nowhere are these values and interests challenged more than by the arming of terrorist groups by Iran with sophisticated weapons, and equally, Iran's attempt to arm itself with nuclear weapons,” Netanyahu said.

A big challenge for Israel is the distance its jets would have to travel to hit Iranian nuclear targets, if it chose to do that.  The new refueling aircraft will help close the gap, says defense analyst Tim Brown.

“The refueling tankers give the Israelis the ability to do the strike regardless of the range of any specific aircraft,” Brown said.

But Washington continues to oppose a unilateral Israeli strike.

Not included in this package are the U.S.' earth-penetrating bombs that Israel could use to attack Iranian underground facilities.  And analyst Anthony Cordesman says Israel does not have the larger aircraft required to deliver those weapons.

“I don't think anyone, when they pause, is going to say that the United States should be transferring Stealth bombers to anyone, even its closest allies, particularly when those bombers cost the United States over a billion dollars a plane,” Cordesman said.

Hagel's stops in the region included visits and weapons offers to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, a sign the U.S also wants to help its Arab partners counter any future threats from Iran.

You May Like

Mali's Female Basketball Players Rebound After Islamist Occupation

Islamist extremists ruled northern Mali for most of 2012, imposing strict Sharia law, and now some 18 months later, the region is slowly getting back on its feet More

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

Many Chinese-made products go unsold, for now, with numerous Vietnamese consumers still angry over recent dispute More

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid