Israel is preparing to deliver a list of aircraft and weapons it wants from the USA as a “compensation package” for the recent agreement with Iran that limited Tehran’s nuclear ambitions.
The pact between Iran and the USA, Europe, China and Russia was signed on 14 July in Vienna and sees sanctions – including those preventing the sale of commercial aircraft – lifted on the nation in return for a halt to the country’s nuclear weapons programme.
However, the Israeli government has rejected the deal, claiming that it will not prevent Tehran from acquiring a nuclear capability.
Tel Aviv sees its armed forces as providing an effective bulwark against an Iranian military expansion that could add further tension to an already unstable region.
Its shopping list is likely to include additional Lockheed Martin F-35 combat aircraft, Boeing KC-46A tankers, Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey tiltrotors, and additional munitions not previously exported by the USA.
Tel Aviv is already a customer for the F-35A, but may now look to firm the 17 options it has for the stealthy type. In addition, a deal for the V-22 – previously rejected by the government on cost grounds – may now be resurrected.
Israeli sources indicate that in the wake of the agreement with Iran it believes Washington will be “more flexible” and facilitate future military acquisitions.