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TEHRAN, May 5. /TASS/. The growing volumes of arms sales by the United States and European countries to the Middle East are posing an even greater threat to the region’s security, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said in Tehran on Tuesday.
"Certain US or European countries shouldn’t be proud of selling more weapons to this or that country," the FARS news agency quotes Rouhani as saying. "They stir insecurity in the region, wrongly intimidate countries from each other and pave the ground for the arms sales market, and then they come to the region and take pride in selling billions of dollars or euros worth of weapons to these countries," Rouhani said, addressing inauguration ceremony of the 28th Tehran International Book Fair on Tuesday.
He said that the western states support insecurity, massacre of people in Baghdad, Damascus and Sana’a and destruction of civilisations in the region to create more jobs for their workers in arms manufacturing plants, according to FARS. His remarks came after French President Francois Hollande and Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani signed on Monday a €6.3 billion ($7.02 billion) agreement for the sale to Qatar of 24 Dassault Aviation-built Rafale fighter jets.
The contract - the third this year for Dassault after deals to sell Rafale jets to Egypt and India - also includes MBDA missiles, and the training of 36 Qatari pilots and 100 technicians by the French military. Officials said the accord also provided for the training of a number of Qatari intelligence officers. "It's a good choice," said Hollande, who had talks with Sheikh Tamim and will go on later to Saudi Arabia, where he is due to attend a summit of the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council (PGCC) in Riyadh, FARS reported.
The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, which tracks military spending, said recently that Saudi Arabia spent more than $80 billion on new weapons in 2014, FARS reported. The United Arab Emirates spent almost $23 billion. Most of these weapons are purchased from the Western states, especially the United States.