The United States will likely stop arms sales to Saudi Arabia

According to Senator Chris Coons (a close ally to President Joe Biden), the United States will likely stop arms sales to Saudi Arabia as a result of the OPEC+ decision.

Coons, a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, stated in a CNN interview that “I think you will see both the Administration and the Senate take actions, and one the most probable actions is to cease any future arms sales.”

His comments show that the Democrat-controlled Congress is gaining momentum to reduce military assistance in order to punish Saudi Arabia for its slashing of production targets. This was announced by the Riyadh cartel about a month prior the November midterm elections.

Senator Democrat called the oil-production cut “a punch to the gut” because it helps Russia “fund their war against Ukraine.”

Coons, who is from Biden’s home State of Delaware, spoke after Senator Robert Menendez (a New Jersey Democrat who chairs Foreign Relations panel) called for a “freeze of all aspects” of the US-Saudi relations including “arms sale and security cooperation”, beyond what is necessary to protect US personnel and interests.

Biden announced earlier this week that his administration would review its relationship with Saudi Arabia. Biden stated that the kingdom would face unspecified “consequences.” However, he did not say whether arms sales could stop and didn’t give a timeline for the review.

Any proposal to block additional arms sales might allow for assistance such as support for contractors or spare-part shipment to continue, which would enable the Saudis to keep their large arsenal of US military equipment.

Biden could also veto legislation that restricts or limits arms sales to Saudi Arabia. This is similar to what Donald Trump did in 2019 as president. National security experts caution against such a move because it could harm the Saudis’ fight to defeat Iran-backed proxies across the region. If Republicans take control of Congress in November, they could allow the sales to continue.

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