- The US President has approved the sale of $8 billion plus worth of weapons to Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
- The US President has invoked a rarely used aspect of federal law to push through the deal bypassing US Congress.He did so by declaring that ongoing tensions with Iran amounted to a national emergency.
- US Congress had been blocking the sales of military equipment to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates over (a)concerns on civilian casualties in the Saudi-led military operation in Yemen and (b)human rights abuses such as the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at a Saudi consulate in Turkey.
- Tensions between the US and Iran had began when US had put pressure on countries still buying oil from Iran by ending exemptions from sanctions.This decision was intended to bring Iran’s oil exports to zero denying Iran its main source of revenue.
- Further,oil tankers were damaged on two oil pumping stations in Saudi Arabia by Yemen’s Houthi rebels who were supported by Iran.However, Iran had denied it was behind the incidents but the US has accused Iran of being directly responsible.
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