US Secretary of State announces $8.1 billion arms transfer to the region to deter Iranian aggression in the Middle East; Pompeo: Partnerships with S. Arabia, Jordan, and UAE cornerstone of our National Security Strategy; US to deploy 1,500 troops to region.
United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo approved pending arms transfer to Jordan, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia over the weekend to support the region in the fight against Iran. Pompeo reported the move on Friday, announcing he had informed the US State Department to allow the nearly $8.1 billion arms transfer, stating “I made a determination pursuant to section 36 of the Arms Export Control Act and directed the Department to complete immediately 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. 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.”
President Trump declared a national emergency given the growing threats from the Islamic Republic on Friday, bypassing an existing US Congress block on the arms sale. The president also confirmed the United States would deploy around 1,500 troops to protect US interests in the region as Iran continues to expand and threaten the United States and Israel.
The support includes “aircraft support maintenance, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR), munitions and other supplies.” Pompeo announced the measures were in order to “remain a reliable security partner to our allies and partners around the world. These partnerships are a cornerstone of our National Security Strategy, which this decision reaffirms.” The White House recently confirmed it sent a battalion of Patriot missile batteries to the Middle East ahead of its troop deployment.
Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif warned that the United States’ troop deployment would endanger peace in the region, stating on Saturday, “Increased US presence in our region is extremely dangerous and it threatens international peace and security and this should be addressed.” Iran continues to violate the nuclear deal and last week announced it had quadrupled its uranium enrichment production capacity as it continues to suspend commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA, nuclear deal) until world powers find a solution to US sanctions on Iran’s oil and banking sectors. Iran has set a 60-day deadline to come up with solutions for its economic crisis caused by the United States, set to end in July.
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