The US administration has put a temporary hold on the sale of US weapons to several Middle Eastern countries in an attempt to reverse the strategic policy against Iran.
The previous administration agreed to sell billions of dollars’ worth of 50 F-35 fighter Jets to the United Arab Emirates, along with other lethal arms deliveries for Gulf Arab counties, including Saudi Arabia.
The $23 billion sale of stealth F-35 fighter jets was fast-tracked after Abu Dhabi agreed to normalize relations with Jerusalem in the historic Abraham Accords.
Antony Blinken applauded Trump’s work in securing several peace agreements between Israel and Arab countries, but said Biden’s team is “trying to make sure that we have a full understanding of any commitments that may have been made in securing those agreements.
Trump justified the sale of weapons to the Saudis by arguing that the kingdom is creating US jobs by buying from US manufacturers. The former administration also said the sale is a deterrent against Iran, Syria and Yemen.
The Yemen and Syrian conflicts have resulted in one of the world’s worst humanitarian disasters with thousands of civilian deaths and widespread food shortages.
Lawmakers argue the billion dollars’ worth of weapons sales under the Trump administration happened too quickly and left too many unanswered questions.
Blinken characterized the sale of F-35’s to the UAE as an apparent “quid pro quo” for Abu Dhabi’s decision to normalize ties with Israel?
The Obama-Biden administration made those planes available to Israel and only Israel in the region,” Blinken told The Times of Israel.
Israel has historically been opposed to the sale of F-35s to other countries in the region for fear it could jeopardize Israel’s security edge. However, Israeli leaders did not oppose the sale under the Trump administration after meetings between US and Israeli leaders.
CBN / ABC Flash Point ME News 2021.