In Extraordinary Statement, Trump Stands With Saudis Despite Khashoggi Killing

Mr. Kushner noticed Prince Mohammed as crucial to advancing a peace plan between Israel and the Palestinians that has been a significant focus of his time within the White House. Mr. Trump’s hawkish aides, inspired by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, noticed the prince as crucial in marshaling a coalition to isolate Iran.

Iran reacted scornfully to Mr. Trump’s assertion. Its overseas minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, alluded to the president’s unfounded assertion that California may have averted its calamitous wildfires if he had adopted Finland’s observe of clearing particles from the forest ground.

“Mr. Trump bizarrely devotes the FIRST paragraph of his shameful statement on Saudi atrocities to accuse IRAN of every sort of malfeasance he can think of,” Mr. Zarif stated in a tweet. “Perhaps we’re also responsible for the California fires, because we didn’t help rake the forests — just like the Finns do?”

Mr. Trump’s financial argument for the Saudi alliance is suspect on a number of grounds. He argued, for instance, that if the United States canceled its army contracts, they might be rapidly crammed by Russia or China.

“It would be a wonderful gift to them directly from the United States!” he stated.

But army analysts stated the Saudi army was so deeply reliant on American gear — F-15 fighter jets, armed with air-to-air and air-to-ground missiles — that it will be tough, if not unattainable, for it to modify to an alternate provider. That is even more true proper now, within the midst of its air marketing campaign in Yemen.

Of the $110 billion in weapons gross sales claimed by Mr. Trump, protection analysts have calculated solely $14.5 billion in booked gross sales, and the true quantity may really be decrease than that. The Saudis haven’t concluded a single main new arms deal since Mr. Trump took workplace.

The president additionally contended that Saudi Arabia was crucial to preserving a lid on oil costs.

“If you want to see oil prices go to $150 a barrel,” he advised reporters, “all you have to do is break up our relationship with Saudi Arabia.”

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