CIA Helped Saudis in Secret Chinese Missile Deal

(Newsweek) Jeff Stein - As the West and Iran move closer to a nuclear accommodation, signs are emerging that Saudi Arabia is readying a new missile strike force of its own - which has been upgraded with Washington's careful connivance. According to a well-placed intelligence source, Saudi Arabia bought ballistic missiles from China in 2007 in a deal that won Washington's quiet approval on the condition that CIA technical experts could verify they were not designed to carry nuclear warheads. The solid-fueled, medium-range DF-21 East Wind missiles are an improvement over the DF-3s the Saudis clandestinely acquired from China in 1988. The newer missiles have a shorter range but greater accuracy, making them more useful against "high-value targets in Tehran, like presidential palaces or supreme-leader palaces," said Jeffrey Lewis, director of the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Monterey Institute of International Studies.

2014-01-30 00:00:00

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