Rand Paul: Senators Must Continue the Fight Against Selling Arms to Saudi Arabia

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Al- Thawra Net

“We cannot claim to want Middle East peace on one hand and fuel a deadly arms race in the region on the other. Saudi Arabia doesn’t deserve US support; Saudi Arabia disregards basic human rights, slaughters innocents in Yemen, horrifically murders dissidents, puts millions on the edge of starvation,” US Senator Rand Paul to the US Today newspaper.

“While we do not yet have veto-proof numbers to stop the arms sales, we will once again keep pushing until we get there,” he said.

About the Congress decision to allow US arms to continue flowing to Saudi regime, he said that “Recently, we gained a major victory, when more than 50 senators voted to pass 22 joint resolutions of disapproval to block over $8 billion in American weapons and support primarily going to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.”

“Only a few years ago, the odds of such a win seemed long, as just 27 senators voted to stop an arms sale to the Saudis when I and a bipartisan group of senators forced a vote in the Senate in 2016. Yet we kept pushing. When we took another stand in 2017, our numbers skyrocketed to 47 senators.

The Senate has now even voted multiple times to end U.S. support for the catastrophic war in Yemen, with the House of Representatives finally joining us earlier this year,” he explained.

The US Senator listed a number of reasons to why law makers in the US should continue their fight against the unlimited support of the Saudi regime.

“Just a day before the votes, a United Nations investigator released a report concluding that journalist Jamal Khashoggi was the victim of a deliberate, premeditated execution, an extrajudicial killing for which the state of Saudi Arabia is responsible under international human rights law. Add this to their financial support to spread radicalism that teaches hatred against the West, as well as Hillary Clinton’s own admission that the governments of Qatar and Saudi Arabia are providing clandestine financial and logistic support to (the Islamic State) and other radical Sunni groups in the region.”

The US Senator expressed great concern of the US plans to help the Saudi regime obtain nuclear capabilities saying that “in an alarming development, we’ve heard reports of the United States seeking to boost the Saudis’ nuclear power capabilities, which is courting unintended consequences and escalation in the region.”

In a report last year, Human Rights Watch revealed that the kingdom “is detaining thousands of people for more than six months, in some cases for over a decade, without referring them to courts for criminal proceedings.”