The US government approved it on Tuesday Two massive arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to help defend against Iran.
Last month, President Joe Biden visited the Middle East, during which he met with several regional leaders in Saudi Arabia, following more than $5 billion in sales of anti-missile systems and related weapons. In recent months, both Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have been the target of rocket attacks by the Houthi rebel movement in Yemen.which is supported by Iran.
Although Tuesday’s authorizations are for defensive arms sales, they could be challenged by lawmakers who supported Biden’s decision last year to halt the sale of large quantities of offensive weapons to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. For his involvement in the war in Yemen.
New sales include $3 billion for Patriot missiles to Saudi ArabiaSpecifically designed by the Houthis to deter rocket attacks and for the United Arab Emirates for high-altitude missile defense systems for $2.2 billion.
“The proposed sale will enhance Saudi Arabia’s ability to respond to current and future threats by resupplying its depleted stockpile of Patriot GeM-T missiles,” the State Department said in its notice reporting the sale to Congress.
“These missiles are used to defend the borders of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia” Against frequent cross-border attacks by Houthi unmanned aerial systems and ballistic missiles against civilian sites and critical infrastructure in Saudi Arabia,” the agency said.
For the United Arab Emirates, the department said the sale would “support US foreign policy and national security by helping to enhance the security of an important regional partner.” The UAE is an important partner of Washington for political stability and economic progress in the Middle East.”
Early in his administration, Biden promised to eliminate or reduce arms sales to both Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates for their actions in Yemen.