Iran denounced Saudi Arabia's recent purchase of 91 M1A1 Abrams main battles tanks as a
"hostile move" and an attempt to "thrust itself into the power vacuum left by the United
States". Saudi Arabia and Iran - the two emerging superpowers of the Middle East region -
have both announced plans to increase the size of their militaries, including the development
and testing of ballistic missile systems on both sides.

Sean Johnston, an expert with the Gettysburg Strategic Policy Group warns that "it appears
that we have the beginnings of an arms race here." His report goes on to say that the
buildup on both sides could pave the way for a "significant international incident." The
United States has all but left the region, and with the government of Iraq on shaky ground,
the other major players in the area are scrambling for control.

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