US Claims Data Shows Riyadh Boosted Missile Program With China's Help - Reports
04:19 06.06.2019(updated 04:34 06.06.2019)
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The US government has obtained intelligence information that Saudi Arabia has significantly enhanced its ballistic missile program through recent purchases from China, local media reported.
Saudi Arabia is reportedly expanding both its missile infrastructure and technology with recent purchases from China, CNN reported on Wednesday, citing three sources who have access to classified intelligence reports.
Congressional lawmakers worry that the fact the government did not disclose this information in a series of briefings may signal the administration's "tacit approval" of the deal as it seeks to counter Iran.
In an interview on the final day of his visit to the United Kingdom, US President Donald Trump said that there was "always a chance" that the United States may take military action against Iran, noting, however, that he would much rather talk.
Saudi Arabia called Arab, Gulf and Muslim summits last week to discuss tensions between the United States and Iran in the region. Washington sent warships and bombers to the Gulf earlier in response to an alleged threat from Tehran, which has been accused of attacking Saudi tankers.
On 12 May, four oil tankers – including two Saudi vessels and a UAE-flagged ship – were targeted in an attack off of the UAE's exclusive economic zone.
The news comes as tensions between the United States and Iran escalated when Tehran announced its decision to suspend some of its obligations under the JCPOA on 8 May, exactly one year after Washington's abrupt withdrawal from the nuclear agreement. Tehran said the decision was a response to Washington violating the JCPOA, which was signed in 2015 to make sure that Tehran kept its nuclear program entirely peaceful in return for sanctions relief.
Iranian officials have repeatedly said that US allegations are designed to create a pretext for war.
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