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The US $60 billion Saudi arms deal 15, September 2010

Posted by in American ME Relations, Saudi Arabia.
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America is to sell around $60 billion worth of arms to Saudi Arabia in the largest deal of its kind in US history. 84 F-15 fighter jets; 70 Apache, 72 Black Hawk and 36 Little Bird helicopters; and upgrading up to 70 existing fighters are just some of the bits and pieces involved in the deal.

Ordinarily, such a deal would arouse significant angst and anger in Congress, fearing that such tech could one day be used against Israel. However, with the Iranian threat looming large – as far as America and in particular Congress and Israel are concerned – selling such high-tech weaponry to Saudi is seen as a good hedge.

Still, there are suggestions that the F-15s will not be fitted with the very latest technology, in deference to Israel. And Tel Aviv will, by the expected delivery times, have the more capable F-35s.


Gay Saudi diplomat seeks aslyum 15, September 2010

Posted by in American ME Relations, Saudi Arabia.
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A Saudi diplomat based in Los Angeles has sought asylum in America after it was revealed that he is gay.

If he returned to Saudi Arabia he claimed that he would be persecuted for homosexuality which is “frowned upon” by Wahhabi doctrine. Indeed, were he to return it is wholly feasible that he could be sentenced to death or flogged; it would depend on the whims of the local judge, no doubt coaxed along by religious opprobrium.