Congressmen to oppose major Saudi arms deal

Monday, July 30, 2007 |  by Staff Writer

A number of US Congressmen have vowed to oppose the Bush Administration's plan to sell $20 billion of advanced American-made weapons to Saudi Arabia in an effort to counterbalance Iran's growing influence in the region.

Ha'aretz reported that two Democratic Congressmen, Anthony Weiner and Jerrold Nadler, intend to introduce legislation blocking the deal as soon as the proposal is officially announced by the White House on Monday.

Weiner told reporters on Sunday that the US should not be handing the Saudis some of its most advanced weapons at a time when Riyadh is tacitly supporting anti-America and anti-Israel terrorism, as well as the insurgency in Iraq.

The administration had hoped to push the Saudi arms deal through Congress by attaching it to an increase in military aid to Israel.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert appeared ready to take the money and run, telling Sunday's weekly cabinet meeting that “understands the need of the United States to support the Arab moderate states and there is a need for a united front between the US and us regarding Iran,” reported The Associated Press.

Olmert said Washington had assured him that it remained committed to Israel's qualitative military edge in the region.

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