The possible sale by America of F-35 planes to the UAE is still being discussed in the corridors of US political decision, and between supporters and opponents of the completion of the deal, controversy continues in Washington.

A congressional research study said that by committing to normalization with Israel, it can be said that the Emirati leadership hopes to extract some benefits from the United States regardless of the outcome of the upcoming presidential elections on November 3.

The study was released by the Congressional Research Service - which represents the research arm of members of the Senate and House of Representatives - after the UAE and Israel reached an agreement to normalize relations.

The study indicated that Washington might sell military aircraft "F-35" and advanced unmanned aerial vehicles, despite the laws of Congress requiring the preservation of the qualitative military advantage of Israel over its Arab neighbors.

And she expected that the UAE - after normalizing relations with Israel - would increase its opportunities to obtain advanced weapons, in addition to "reducing the criticism of members of Congress towards the Yemen war and the siege of the State of Qatar."

Strong relationships

In the context, James Farwell, a former official at the US Department of Defense and now an expert at the Middle East Institute, told Al Jazeera Net that his country and the UAE have enjoyed, for a long time, a strong relationship on national security issues.

But he doubted that "the UAE's move to normalize its relations with Israel came to satisfy Washington, or that Washington was the key to Israeli-Emirati normalization."

For his part, David Mack, the former US ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, in his interview with Al Jazeera Net, indicated that “selling F-35s to the UAE would enhance the long-term military cooperation between the two countries; Including its interests in distant but important countries, such as Afghanistan. "

Fate of the deal

Ambassador Mac believes that there are voices within the administration of US President Donald Trump that "really want to sell F-35s to the UAE, and this is in line with the general desire to increase military sales to the UAE and the rest of the Gulf countries."

"I imagine that the White House, the Ministry of Defense, State and Treasury support the sale of advanced aircraft to the Emirates, but there is opposition from some members of Congress and organizations concerned with the UAE's disturbing record on human rights issues," Mac said in an interview with Al-Jazeera Net.

Pompeo (left) with Netanyahu during a previous visit to Israel (Reuters - Archive)

George Cafiero, director of the Institute for Gulf States Studies in Washington agreed with this suggestion, saying, "Some of the pro-Israel lobbyists in Washington will push and push in an attempt to prevent the United States from selling these weapons to the Emiratis."

Even if the position of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on this issue is questionable in light of recent media reports, which indicate that he does not oppose the deal, the Israeli intelligence and defense establishment is still strongly opposed to this.

In his interview with Al Jazeera Net, Cafiero referred to attempts "by officials in the Trump administration, such as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, to dispel Israeli concerns about the deal."

On the contrary, former National Security Council official Charles Dunn promised that "the US administration wants to go ahead with completing the deal, because it is an administration that has given arms sales a priority over almost everything else in its Middle East policy."

Dan assured Al-Jazeera Net that "the Trump administration can be dissuaded from this with firm opposition from Israel supported by major Republican funders of the Trump election campaign."

Dan pointed out that "the Emiratis said that the process of selling the aircraft should be considered separately from any arrangements with Israel since the purchase request was under consideration even before the agreement with Israel."

The Emiratis now clearly feel that the diplomatic progress gives them an additional opportunity to support the order to purchase the F-35, which was not present before the agreement with Israel, according to Dan.

How to compensate Israel

Ambassador Mac indicated in his interview with Al-Jazeera Net that there are many ways in which the qualitative military and strategic superiority of Israel can be preserved, which is one of the established principles in the process of selling arms to the countries of the Middle East.

He said, "Washington can placate Israel by strengthening its fleet of F-35s with more advanced weapons systems and radars than it has now, and more advanced than the UAE might get."

On the other hand, Cafiero suggested that Washington would sell F-35s to the UAE, with the aim of compensating Israel with the latest in American military technology.

Cafiero said to Al Jazeera Net, "There is a real possibility that the Trump administration will decide to sell the F-35 to the UAE while enabling Israel to maintain its qualitative military advantage in the Middle East by selling more advanced F-22 Raptors."