The White House has approved a possible THAAD system sale to Saudi Arabia at an estimated price of $15 billion, naming Iran among the regional threats to Saudi Arabia.
A statement by the Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency stated that the sale would improve the U.S National security and their interest in foreign policies. In the report, the Pentagon also said that purchase is aimed at strengthening the protection of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf region from Iran and other regional threats.
Taking note of the fact that Saudi Arabia has the most extensive missile program in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia, and the U.S are highly concerned about the threats posed by missile nation aggressiveness. Iran has developed their missiles as a precaution in case one of their enemies, including the United States, Israel or the Gulf region states attacks them.
On Thursday, the Saudi King Salman made the first ever Saudi Monarch visit to Russia, a Saudi national TV reported. Salman announced that Saudi had agreed to purchase a Russian S – 400 surface-to-air missile program during the tour.
The THAAD – Terminal High Altitude Area Defense was under strict scrutiny by the Yemen’s Saudi Coalition war.
Since the Houthis of Iran conquered almost half of Yemen in 2015, the Riyadh of Saudi Arabia has been dropping bombs on them, saying that they (Saudi Arabia) are in support of the legitimate government of Yemen. However, the U.N and other humanitarian organizations have noted that the Saudi Arabian strikes cause most of innocent people’s deaths and destruction in Yemen.
Earlier this year, the U.S sent THAAD system to South Korea in defense of North Korea’s short-range missile launches. The move has been highly criticized by China, saying that the System’s radar is too powerful and it will probe deep into their (China’s) territories.
The THAAD is designed to intercept short-range, medium and intermediate-range ballistic missiles.