Hawzah News Agency - Citing high-level diplomatic sources, the Emirati news website al-Khaleejonline reported on Wednesday that Riyadh had purchased the so-called Iron Dome system from Tel Aviv following US-mediated secret meetings in Washington.
The report said that the deal, worth more than tens of millions of dollars, is expected to be implemented in December, with the first missile system being placed on the Saudi border with Yemen, where the kingdom is waging a deadly war.
Initially, the sources said, Israel refused to sell “Iron Dome” to any Arab country under the pretext that it would endanger the regime's “interests in the region.”
After Washington’s intervention, however, Tel Aviv agreed to the sale.
“Saudi Arabia will pay for the completion of the Iron Dome deal in excess of tens of millions of dollars, and there are pledges to be signed through the US mediator that this system does not pose any danger to the security of Israel and its allies in the region in the near or long term,” the diplomatic sources said.
They also noted that Saudi Arabia will buy more military equipment from Israel if the system operates well.
“If the Iron Dome succeeds in intercepting rockets that pose a threat to the kingdom, there will be talks with Israel to buy additional military systems and open the door for military exchanges between the two sides,” the sources said.
Israel and Saudi Arabia have no diplomatic relations, but they are widely believed to have secret liaisons. Latest reports say the two regimes are working behind the scenes to establish formal contact.