Pompeo Confirms $8.1 Bln in US Arms Transfers to Saudi Arabia, Jordan, UAE
By Staff, Agencies
US State Secretary Mike Pompeo confirmed approval of $8.1 billion in arms transfers to Saudi Arabia, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates in a bid to "deter Iranian aggression," AFP reported.
In this regard, it is very important to note that all three beneficiary countries are involved in the more than 4-year long bloody war on Yemen.
"Today, I made a determination pursuant to section 36 of the Arms Export Control Act and directed the Department [of State] to immediately complete the formal notification of 22 pending arms transfers to Jordan, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia totaling approximately $8.1 billion to deter Iranian aggression and build partner self-defense capacity," Pompeo said on Friday.
"These sales will support our allies, enhance Middle East stability and help these nations to deter and defend themselves from the Islamic Republic of Iran," Pompeo claimed as cited by AFP.
Pompeo said this move would be a "one-time event," claiming that these arms transfers are critical for the United States' partners in the region to be able to provide for their own self-defense and to back US forces in the region.
The equipment includes aircraft support maintenance; intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance; munitions; and other supplies, Pompeo noted.
Earlier in the day, ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Bob Menendez said in a press release that the Trump administration had invoked a provision in US foreign arms sales legislation that would allow the White House to bypass Congress and sell weapons to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and others.
Trump boldly confessed he would not end support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen for fear of losing business with Riyadh, which he previously estimated to be around $100 billion.
Menendez said Trump cited the ‘threat from Iran’ as one of the reasons for invoking the emergency clause.
The lawmaker also said he is in discussions with several colleagues on both sides of the political aisle to address Trump's "latest attack" on Congress's constitutional responsibilities.
Under the Arms Control Act of 1976, presidents are required to notify Congress of any pending arms sales, and if sales are meant for the Middle East, to certify that any shipments would not adversely affect the Zionist entity’s qualitative military advantage over its regional neighbors. Congress, for its part, can block any arms sale simply by passing a resolution of disapproval.