The New York Times quoted legislators as saying that the administration of President Donald Trump is going to sell $ 478 million guided missiles to Saudi Arabia, despite opposition from Congress.
The newspaper said that the US State Department had informally informed lawmakers last January that it was planning to complete the deal and grant licenses to Raytheon Military Industries to expand its activities in the kingdom.
The newspaper added that the proposal was met with the rejection of the Democratic lawmakers in the Senate and the House of Representatives, but they fear that foreign officials will go ahead with the completion of the deal.
She noted that a large number of members of Congress from both parties have repeatedly opposed selling arms to Saudi Arabia, because of its use against civilians in Yemen.
She said they were outraged when the Trump administration declared a state of emergency over Iran last year, bypassing Congress and selling $ 8 billion worth of weapons, mostly to Saudi Arabia.
For his part, Democratic Senator Chris Murphy said that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tricked away from Congress to pass the recent arms deal to Saudi Arabia, noting that Pompeo "created a fake emergency to pass the deal away from Congress."
The US senator added that President Trump's dismissal of the State Department's inspector general, Steve Link, may have hidden the financial ties that the Trump administration has with the Saudi regime.
On Wednesday, Senator Bob Menendez, deputy chairman of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, announced that "the administration is currently trying to sell thousands of precision bombs to the friend of the president, Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman."
The US senator added that the Trump administration is seeking to conclude this deal - the details of which have not been revealed yet - "at a time when the Saudis say they want to end their failed and brutal war in Yemen."
The Democratic Senator reminded that, following the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at his country's consulate in Istanbul in October 2018, Congress rejected a Trump administration deal to sell both Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates various weapons with a total value of up to $ 8 billion.
Menendez stressed that the US intelligence services concluded that Khashoggi’s liquidation was carried out at the behest of the Saudi crown prince, and Muhammad bin Salman described it as “a volatile tyrant who believes he can massacre his critics without consequences.”
Pompeo had succeeded in bypassing the Congress’s rejection of the arms deal with Saudi Arabia by resorting to a mysterious mechanism in which he considered the conclusion of this deal to be “urgent”.
Trump recently dismissed - at Pompeo's request - State Department Inspector General Steve Linnick who was investigating - among other things - the emergency measure that was approved to pass this arms deal.