London: Saudi Arabia has reportedly replaced India as the world`s biggest arms importer last year as concerns about Iran`s nuclear ambitions raised tensions in the Middle East.
According to the data released by IHS, a leading analyst of the global arms trade, Saudi Arabia`s spending rose from 54 percent to 6.5 billion dollars last year, while India spent 5.8 billion dollars on imports, reported The Independent.
IHS estimated that the imports will grow by 52 percent to 9.8 billion dollars this year, accounting for one dollar of every seven dollars spent globally.
Ben Moores, the report`s author, remarked that the outcome was definitely "unprecedented." He said, "You`re seeing political fractures across the region, and at the same time you`ve got oil, which allows countries to arm themselves, protect themselves and impose their will as to how they think the region should develop."
The report said that the United States was the biggest beneficiary, with 8.4 billion dollars of arms shipments to the region last year.