U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is pressuring the Indian government to pull out of a pending deal to purchase Spike missiles from Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, Ltd., one of the Jewish state’s top arms manufacturers, Israeli daily Ma’ariv reported on Thursday.
Until recently, it appeared that the major arms contract between Israel and India was all but finalized, according to the report. The Spike missiles were tested extensively by the Indian army, which had reportedly agreed to spend millions of dollars on the rockets.
At the last moment however, John Kerry along with other senior U.S. government officials began to exert political pressure on the Indians to renege on their agreement with Israel.
According to Ma’ariv, the Americans’ motivation for meddling is financial. The U.S. government is reportedly trying to lure India into acquiring American-made Javelin missiles instead of the Israeli Spike. Washington is allegedly making an offer that it hopes New Delhi won’t be able to refuse: active participation in the development of the next U.S. anti-tank missile.
Evidently, serious cuts to the U.S. defense budget have resulted in a scramble by the U.S. government to line up contracts for the mammoth American defense industry in an effort to prevent this major provider of American jobs from drying up, according to Ma’ariv.
To date, it is unclear whether the Indians will back out of their deal with Israel.
Read more articles by the Algemeiner’s Jerusalem Correspondent Gidon Ben-Zvi here.