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Military Spending and Arms Imports by Iran, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the UAE

Publisher: SIPRI
SIPRI, Stockholm:
May, 2019

Tense relations between Iran, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are a major cause for concern regarding stability, security and peace in the Gulf region and in the Middle East more generally. These states seek to play a major role in the Middle East and use arms as a key tool in the pursuit of this aim.

To illustrate the importance given to military capability in these four states, this fact sheet provides a concise overview of trends and patterns of military expenditure and of arms imports—the main source of modern major arms for these states—in the period 1994–2018.


Pieter D. Wezeman is a Senior Researcher in the SIPRI Arms Transfers Programme.
Alexandra Kuimova Alexandra Kuimova is a Researcher with UNIDIR’s Conventional Arms and Ammunition Programme. She was previously a Researcher with the SIPRI Arms Transfers Programme.