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Trump declares Iran emergency to bypass Congress on Gulf arms sales

The Donald Trump administration cited Iran as the justification to invoke emergency powers to transfer arms to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates over congressional objections.
A woman uses her mobile phone to take picture of the damage created by debris, after ballistic missiles fired by Yemen's Houthi militia, fell at a house in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia March 26, 2018. REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser - RC13CCD3D530

The Donald Trump administration is citing the “fundamental threat” of Iran to justify its end-run around Congress in providing several billion dollars’ worth of bombs and other weapons to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Jordan.

In a notification to Congress obtained by Al-Monitor, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo invoked an emergency powers exemption to arms export controls to proceed with 22 arms sales worth $8.1 billion. The transmittal comes the same day that Trump confirmed plans to send an additional 1,500 troops to the Middle East to counter Iran.

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