The Embassy of Bahrain in London has rejected reports that the Gulf states are in talks to purchase the Iron Dome system from Israel on Friday (16 October).
Sky News reported on 13 October that the Bahraini Foreign Minister Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa told the network: "The Israelis have their small Iron Dome. We'll have a much bigger one in the GCC [Gulf Corporation Council]." The deal was reportedly being discussed through US intermediaries.
"The Gulf States are indeed in the process of planning to acquire an anti-missiles defence system and are negotiating with the US, but are most certainly not purchasing anything from the Israelis." said a statement from the Embassy of the Kingdom of Bahrain in London.
Read the full statement below:
"In response to recent statements carried by various media outfits regarding Bahraini foreign minister Shaikh Khalid Al Khalifa's response on 13 October, 2015 to Sky News foreign editor Sam Kiley on Gulf State's acquiring anti-missile defence systems, the Embassy of the Kingdom of Bahrain in London would like to make the follow clarification:
"The foreign minister Shaikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa was asked whether the Gulf States are in ongoing negotiation with the US to acquire an anti-missile defence system to protect the region from such threats as those emanating from Iran post the nuclear deal.
"A follow up question was made by Kiley as to whether this defence mechanism would be based on the Israeli Iron Dome. To which His Excellency responded: 'Well, There is an Israeli dome, and there is a dome that fits our area, and we are talking to the United States about that.'
"The Gulf States are indeed in the process of planning to acquire an anti-missiles defence system and are negotiating with the US, but are most certainly not purchasing anything from the Israelis.
"The foreign minister categorically rejects any suggestion that the Kingdom and its Gulf allies are in negotiation with Israel over matters of defence or otherwise. The GCC is firmly committed to the Arab Peace Initiative and any normalisation of relations between the entire Arab region and Israel is conditional on the full withdrawal of Israel from the occupied territories including East Jerusalem."