`US readies UAE with bombs to counter Iran`

The US is planning to sell thousands of advanced bunker-buster bombs and other ammunitions to United Arab Emirates.

Washington: The United States is planning to sell thousands of advanced "bunker-buster" bombs and other ammunitions to the United Arab Emirates, as a part of its efforts to counter Iran.

The plan comes after US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta’s statement that the country opposed the Iranian nuclear programme, but using force against Iran was the last option.

The proposed package would authorise the sale of up to 4,900 joint direct attack munitions (JDAMs) and other weapons to the UAE, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Though the UAE has had sound trade relations with Iran, the ruling al Nahyan family has openly expressed fear of an Iranian nuclear programme.

Though Iran has claimed sovereignty over three UAE islands, it clarified that its nuclear program would be utilised for peaceful purposes.

Administration officials said the "augmented" ammunitions’ stock would allow UAE to meet its training needs, expand its security role and effectively counter Iran.

The plan is a part of a larger US drive to build up six Gulf Cooperation Council members, which comprises Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, UAE and Kuwait, as a unified opposition to Iran.

The US also plans to build up missile defence systems across the Persian Gulf to counter Iranian short- and intermediate-range ballistic missiles.



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