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

Pundits Split Over Long-Term US Role in Afghanistan

Security pact remains condition for American presence beyond 2014; deadline criticized More

US Eyes Islamic State Threat

Officials warn that IS could pose a threat to US homeland More

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Moscow says Russian troops crossed into Ukrainian territory by mistake More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocksi
X
George Putic
August 25, 2014 4:00 PM
How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that were eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports from the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, where one band is bringing Yiddish tango to an American audience.
Video

Video Peace Returns to Ferguson as Community Tries to Heal

Thousands of people nationwide are expected to attend funeral services Monday in the U.S. Midwestern city of St. Louis, Missouri, for Michael Brown, the unarmed African-American teenager who was fatally shot by a white police officer August 9 in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson. The shooting touched off days of violent demonstrations there, resulting in more than 100 arrests. VOA's Chris Simkins reports from Ferguson where the community is trying to move on after weeks of racial tension.
Video

Video Meeting in Minsk May Hinge on Putin Story

The presidents of Russia and Ukraine are expected to meet face-to-face Tuesday in Minsk, along with European leaders, for talks on the situation in Ukraine. Political analysts say the much welcomed dialogue could help bring an end to months of deadly clashes between pro-Russia separatists and Ukrainian forces in the country's southeast. But much depends on the actions of one man, Russian President Vladimir Putin. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Artists Shun Russia's Profanity Law

Russia in July enacted a law threatening fines for publicly displayed profanity in media, films, literature, music and theater. The restriction, the toughest since the Soviet era, aims to protect the Russian language and culture and has been welcomed by those who say cursing is getting out of control. But many artists reject the move as a patronizing and ineffective act of censorship in line with a string of conservative morality laws. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video British Fighters on Frontline of ISIS Information War

Security services are racing to identify the Islamic State militant who beheaded U.S. journalist James Foley in Syria. The murderer spoke English on camera with a British accent. It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for the Islamic State, also called ISIL or ISIS, alongside thousands of other foreign jihadists. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from the center of the investigation in London.

AppleAndroid