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President Donald Trump: An Ace Arms Seller – OpEd


At his first destination, Saudi Arabia, U.S. President Donald Trump succeeded in signing an arms sale agreement worth US$350 billion. He is likely to secure more orders on visits to Egypt, Jordan, Turkey and Israel. That of arms sale is one of the themes, sandwiched in the campaigns against ISIS and terrorism, challenging Iran and turmoil in the collapsing states of Syria and Yemen.  But the top item on the agenda was supposed to be the Israel-Palestinian peace process, which the president said was a top priority for his administration, through its recognition by Arabs.

Trump’s rhetoric is based on “Iran is a bigger threat as compared to Israel”. The US assault started with Iraq’s attack on Iran soon after the Islamic Revolution. The Arab monarch’s were made to believe (by the US) that the fall of Iran’s monarch was the beginning of their downfall. The war continued for almost a decade. Later on, Iraq was prompted to attack Kuwait, one of the best friends of Saudi Arabia.
In the aftermath of 9/11, the US attacked Afghanistan and Iraq. Further stringent sanctions were imposed on Iran. However, the superpowers agreed to withdraw these sanctions on the condition that Iran would roll back its nuclear program. To project Iran as enormous threat, it has been dragged into proxy wars to weaken it and to portray that “Iran is not a regional superpower”.

The need to create this perception aroused Iran. But a question remains unanswered: who initiated the assault, Iran or others? The western media has been arousing anti Iran sentiments by capitalizing Arab-Iran hatred.

The ultimate objective, which the US wishes to achieve is “Recognition of Israel by Arabs”. The process started when Muhammad Anwar el-Sadat was president of Egypt and continued till his assassination in 1981. It seems most of the Arab are already convinced and are desperate for making the formal announcement. However, they have not forgotten the fate of Anwar Sadat.

One of the expectations is that at the end of Trump’s visit the formal announcement will come. Therefore, all the guns have to be aimed at Iran, which is often considered “the game spoiler”. But one has to try to find an answer to the question of at what is the cost of this recognition? Why did Saudi Arabia pay US$350 billion to give a boost to the US economy?

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Shabbir H. Kazmi

Shabbir H. Kazmi is an economic analyst from Pakistan. He has been writing for local and foreign publications for about quarter of a century. He maintains the blog ‘Geo Politics in South Asia and MENA’. He can be contacted at [email protected]

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