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U.S. arms sales to Saudis, UAE, Jordan needed to deter Iran: Pompeo

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo gestures while speaking during his and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's joint news conference following the talks in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi, Russia May 14, 2019. Pavel Golovkin/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Friday the Trump administration had decided to proceed with arms sales to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Jordan in a move bypassing Congress because any delay could increase risk for U.S. partners at a time of instability caused by Iran.

“These sales will support our allies, enhance Middle East stability, and help these nations to deter and defend themselves from the Islamic Republic of Iran,” Pompeo said in a statement, adding the decision to circumvent Congress was meant to be a “one-time event.”

Reporting by David Alexander; Editing by Makini Brice