The Trump administration has recently invoked an emergency provision in order to sell weapons to Saudi Arabia, the reason being increased tensions with Iran. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has released a statement defending the decision.
“Delaying this shipment could cause degraded systems and a lack of necessary parts and maintenance that could create severe airworthiness and interoperability concerns for our key partners, during a time of increasing regional volatility," Pompeo said. "These national security concerns have been exacerbated by many months of congressional delay in addressing these critical requirements, and have called into doubt our reliability as a provider of defense capabilities, opening opportunities for U.S. adversaries to exploit.”
“Section 36 is a long-recognized authority and has been utilized by at least four previous administrations since 1979, including Presidents Reagan and Carter. This specific measure does not alter our long-standing arms transfer review process with Congress. I look forward to continuing to work with Congress to develop prudent measures to advance and protect U.S. national security interests in the region.” Pompeo added.
The Trump administration has also announced that 1,500 troops will be sent to the Middle East as tensions with Iran continue to increase.