A missile that the U.S. Department of Defense says is a "Qiam" ballistic missile manufactured in Iran and that the Pentagon says was fired by Houthi rebels from Yemen into Saudi Arabia on July 22, 2017 is seen on display at a U.S. military base in Washington, U.S..
(photo credit: JIM BOURG/ REUTERS)
Saudi Arabia escalated its ballistic missile program with the help of China according to US intelligence, CNN reported late Wednesday night.
According to the report, this will limit the decade’s effort to limit the amassing of missiles in the Middle East.
The Trump administration did not initially inform congress, which annoyed Democrats who believed they should have been briefed. Members of congress are worried that this could be signal of President Donald Trump's approval of Saudi Arabia's missile program and could help the administration counter Iran, the report stated.
The CNN report speculated that this could be a step for Saudi to push forward its attempt to obtain nuclear weapons. Saudi Arabia has clearly stated they have intentions to obtain a nuclear warhead if necessary.
"Without a doubt, if Iran developed a nuclear bomb, we will follow suit as soon as possible," Kingdom's Crown Prince, Mohammed Bin Salman said in a 2018 interview with 60 minutes.
This incident comes has there are heightened tensions between Congress and Trump. On Wednesday, senators announced they wanted to introduce legislation to bloc Trump's plan for a $8 billion in military sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates without congressional review.
While Saudi Arabia is one of the biggest buyers of US weapons, the country cannot buy ballistic missiles from the US because of the 1987 Missile Technology Control Regime, an informal multi-country pact.
Saudi Arabia has purchased ballistic missiles from China several decades ago.
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