WEST BANK (Dispatches) – The Zionist regime will oppose any U.S. sale of F-35 warplanes to Qatar, the regime’s intelligence minister said on Sunday, citing a need to maintain the occupying regime’s alleged superiority in the region.
Intelligence Minister Eli Cohen made the comments on the Army Radio when asked about a Reuters report that Qatar had submitted a formal request to Washington to buy stealthy F-35 fighter jets.
Asked whether the occupying regime would oppose such a sale, Cohen said: "The answer is yes. Our security and military superiority in the region are the most significant things for us. Our region has still not turned into Switzerland.”
The United States consults with the Zionist regime on proposed sales of advanced arms to the countries in the region, under a principle of preserving the regime’s "qualitative military edge”. Some such sales have gone ahead over objections by the Zionist regime.
The Qatari request follows an August deal between the U.S. and the United Arab Emirates in which Washington agreed to consider giving the Persian Gulf state approval to buy F-35s in a side deal to a U.S.-brokered controversial agreement to normalize ties with the Zionist regime.
Reuters cited three informed sources close to the deal as saying that Qatar had sent a formal request to the United States for the purchase of F-35s.
Any U.S. decision to push ahead with an arms sale to the UAE will likely face pushback in Congress and on the ground in Israel, which is wary of losing its regional military edge.