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Now Can We Renege on the F16/Abrams Tank Deal with Egypt?

Posted on the 06 February 2013 by Brutallyhonest @Ricksteroni

Or is it too late?

I'm going to link two stories that are hitting the wires today.

First up, from Haaretz:

Ahmadinejad said the world must now treat Iran as a nuclear country. “They want Iran to go back to AhmadinejadInEgyptwhat it was in the past, but they won’t succeed. They assume we’ll give in to pressure; such thoughts are misguided. We’re already an industrial and nuclear country, a country that has conquered space. For years we have been thinking about sending a human being into space, and we will do that, with Allah’s help. We must ensure development and growth and bring them to pass, and the world must acknowledge our progress,” he said, adding that the best solution was cooperation with Iran.

Mentioning the possibility of an Israeli attack on Iran, Ahmadinejad said that while it might be easy to launch missiles or attack using fighter jets, Iran’s response and defense capability were important in this context.

He reiterated that the Zionists were trying to take over the foci of power and wealth throughout the world. “They want to attack Iran, but we’re not preparing any attack against them because the purpose of our program is defense.”

During the interview, Ahmadinejad condemned what he described as massacres committed by Israel. “For us, supporting the Palestinian people is a matter of human importance in every sense. The Palestinians must receive their rights, and the Zionists are moving closer and closer toward the edge.”

With that as background, read what follows coming our way via Reuters:

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, on the first visit to Cairo by an Iranian leader in more than three decades, called for a strategic alliance with Egypt and said he had offered the cash-strapped Arab state a loan, but drew a cool response.

Ahmadinejad said outside forces were trying to prevent a rapprochement between the Middle East's two most populous nations, at odds since Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution and Egypt's signing of a peace treaty with Israel in the same year.

"We must all understand that the only option is to set up this alliance because it is in the interests of the Egyptian and Iranian peoples and other nations of the region," the official MENA news agency quoted him in remarks to Egyptian journalists published on Wednesday.

The two countries have not restored diplomatic ties since Egypt overthrew its long term leader Hosni Mubarak in 2011, but its first Islamist president, Mohamed Mursi, gave Ahmadinejad a red-carpet welcome on Tuesday to a summit of Islamic nations.

"There are those striving to prevent these two great countries from coming together despite the fact that the region's problems require this meeting, especially the Palestinian question," Ahmadinejad said.

With these sorts of alliances being talked about, you would think that it would be most prudent to adopt a go slow approach with the F16/Abrams tank deal but apparently, we've already delivered on at least part of the deal:

Egypt received four F-16 aircraft from the United States on Sunday, February 3, the Egypt Independent reports.

According to the report, the country’s Defense Minister Abdel Fattah al-Sisi praised the growing military cooperation between Egypt and the U.S. after receiving the four fighter jets.

At a ceremony in honor of the F-16s received from the U.S., Sisi said Egypt looks forward to further cooperation to build and develop the combat capabilities of the Armed Forces.

The four aircraft are part of a group of 20 F-16s that are expected to be delivered to Egypt this year. They are part of the US$1.3 billion in annual military aid to Egypt.

The jets were ordered by deposed Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, but the current Muslim Brotherhood-led administration under President Mohammed Morsi will take over the inheritance.

To date, the U.S. has delivered 224 F-16 aircraft to Egypt, according to a statement published on the U.S. Embassy in Cairo’s website and quoted by the Egypt Independent.

Heidi Grant, deputy undersecretary of the U.S. Air Force for International Affairs, said that delivering these fighter planes confirms U.S. keenness to strengthen military cooperation between the two countries to achieve security and stability in the Middle East.

Egyptian military leaders and U.S. Ambassador to Egypt Anne W. Patterson attended the ceremony on Sunday, according to the Egypt Independent.

“Today’s ceremony demonstrates the firm belief of the United States that a strong Egypt is in the interest of the U.S., the region, and the world,” said Patterson.

Really Ms. Patterson?  A strong Egypt is in the best interest of the U.S., the region, and the world, that same Egypt that rolled out the red carpet for Ahmadinejad, the same Ahmadinejad who is talking about an alliance with Egypt, the same Ahmadinejad who want to see Israel annihilated, a goal that has also been vocalized by the current President of Egypt?

Are there any adults in charge?

We are in such deep shit.

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