Weapons dealers cash in on tensions in the Persian Gulf


The International Defence Exhibition in Abu Dhabi opened on Saturday with words from Mark Kimmitt, US Deputy Assistant Secretry of Defence for the Middle East, who said an "increasingly belligerent Iran" believes it can "control, threaten and intimidate."

Gulf governments, awash with money from oil sales, have been spending big to profit their forces. They fear that the increasing tensions between Iran and United States could spill over to a wider regional conflict. Qatar, Bahrain, the Emirates, and Kuwait all host American military bases which would become prime targets in any regional war.

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told airforce commanders earlier this month that Iran will strike US interests around the world if his country is attacked. In January, a newspaper close to the cleric warned that retaliation could include stopping oil traffic through the Gulf’s strategic strait of Hormuz.

Roughly two-fifths of all the world’s traded oil passes through the strategic waterway, according to the us energy information administration.

Such a blockade would wreak havoc on the Arab economies of this region, which are based on oil exports, not to mention the global economy.


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