Foreign Policy

U.S. Weapons Maker Assures Bank That Middle East Instability Will Drive Sales (Video)

| by Michael Allen

While it's assumed that most people want peace in the Middle East, that's not always the case when it comes to defense contractors who make billions of dollars selling weapons to countries for armed conflicts.

The Intercept reports that analyst Myles Walton, from Germany’s Deutsche Bank, asked Lockheed Martin's CEO Marillyn Hewson on Jan. 27 if the proposed nuclear deal between the U.S. and Iran would affect the defense contractor's sales.

During their purported conference call (video below), Walton asked Hewson, "If the U.S. does move more towards a normalization with Iran over the nuclear activities, does that in any way impede what you see as progress in a foreign military sales front there, from a DOS perspective?"

Hewson said that the U.S.-Iran deal hadn't really been brought up in discussions with her customers, but added: "There's certainly plenty of threats in the region. Just the volatility, even if there may be some kind of deal done with Iran, there is volatility all around the region, and each one of these countries believes they've got to protect their citizens and the things that we can bring to them help in that regard."

Hewson later said that the Asia-Pacific region "is another growth area" for the company because there is "a lot of volatility, a lot of instability, a lot of things that are happening both with North Korea as well as some of the tensions between China and Japan.

"So in both of those regions, which are growth areas for us, we expect that there's going continue to be opportunities for us to bring our capabilities to them."

The International Defense Exposition and Conference (IDEX), a trade show for weapons manufacturers that make enormous deals to supply arms to various countries, took place in Abu Dhabi last month, reported.

"Over the next five years, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar and Jordan are expected to spend more $165 billion on arms, according to Avascent Analytics, including ships, armored trucks and fighter jets," noted

Sources: The Intercept, / Image Credit: Lockheed Martin Logo