Trump Approves Massive Arms Deals to Saudi Arabia, UAE amid Iran Tensions
Trump Approves Massive Arms Deals to Saudi Arabia, UAE amid Iran Tensions. US President Donald Trump is sending guided missile systems and anti-tank missiles to Saudi Arabia. The total order has a value of more than 7 billion dollars.
Trump pushed through the deal without presenting it to the US Congress as is customary in such cases. The American president, who is on good terms with the Saudi leaders, arranges the arms transaction through the back door.
He uses a rarely used emergency measure to circumvent any objections from Congress and thus give the green light to a controversial arms deal involving the United Arab Emirates in addition to Saudi Arabia.
A coalition led by Saudi Arabia has been fighting for four years against Houthi rebels who control large parts of Yemen. Senator Bob Menendez, the member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, said he is “disappointed but not surprised.” He called it incomprehensible that the US supplies arms to authoritarian countries such as Saudi Arabia.
Not only Democratic politicians but also prominent Republicans have criticized how the deal came about. According to top Republican Mike McCaul, chairman of the Chamber Committee for Foreign Affairs, Trump has opened the way for presidents to sell weapons to anyone they want without Congress control.
Several members of Congress fear that the weapons will be deployed against civilians in Yemen. The US Congress approved another resolution in April to stop US support for the Saudi coalition in Yemen, but Trump used his veto.
According to the New York Times, Foreign Minister Mike Pompeo and other senior officials had urged the government to invoke the emergency measure so that Trump could prevent Congress from blocking arms sales.
The tensions between the US and Iran – the great regional rival of Saudi Arabia – would this time be a reason for the White House to put Congress out of action.
Referring to Iran and its allies’ attacks on US interests, which may be on the way, Washington has also increased the deployment of the army. On Friday, President Trump announced that “as a precaution” 1500 additional soldiers were being sent to the Middle East.
In response to this, Iran today threatens to sink American warships with “secret weapons.” “America is sending two warships to the region,” said an essential Iranian military adviser. “If they commit even the slightest stupidity, we will chase those ships to the bottom including the crew and planes, and we use two missiles or two secret weapons. ”
The relationship between the US and Iran has deteriorated sharply since President Donald Trump took office. He withdrew his country a year ago from the nuclear deal with Tehran and again imposed extensive sanctions. The US also stepped up its military presence in the Persian Gulf.