Qatar on Monday inked a deal with the United States to purchase Patriot missile defense systems, amid ongoing concerns about Iran’s weapons work.
As part of a broader weapons package worth $11 billion, Qatar is to acquire approximately 10 Patriot batteries, Agence France-Presse reported.
Qatar joins a number of other Arab Gulf countries — including the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia — in purchasing the Patriot system.
Qatari Defense Minister Mag. Gen. Hamad bin Ali al-Attiyah and U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel ceremonially signed off on the deal in Washington.
“Today’s signing ceremony underscores the strong partnership between the United States and Qatar in the area of security and defense and will help improve our bilateral cooperation across a range of military operations,” said Pentagon spokesman John Kirby.
The Pentagon wants to see Gulf states connect their respective antimissile systems to construct a broader regional missile shield that can be used to deter a possible strike by Iran. However, persuading the nations to integrate their missile defense capabilities has been slow going.