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Following Saudi Executions, Will U.S. Respond By Cutting $50 Billion In Weapons Sales?

Democracy Now examines the recent executions in Saudi Arabia and how this will impact both regional tensions and our relationship with the Saudis.

Sadly, the United States and the Obama administration don't seem to be too interested in ending the conflict in Yemen or our military ties to the Saudis any time soon. The only ones who appear to be "winning" in this entire debacle are the arms dealers.

From Democracy Now: As Saudi Arabia Executes Sheikh al-Nimr, Will U.S. Respond by Cutting $50 Billion in Weapons Sales?:

After Saudi Arabia executed Shiite cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr on Saturday along with 46 others, protesters in the Iranian capital of Tehran responded by torching part of the Saudi Embassy.

On Sunday, Saudi Arabia responded by severing ties with Iran. With Saudi Arabia and Iran backing opposing groups in Syria and Iraq, and on opposite sides of the conflict in Yemen, we examine how this will impact both regional tensions and the U.S. relationship with Saudi Arabia.

Under the Obama administration, the United States has entered a record $50 billion in new arms sales agreements with the Saudis.

"If the Obama administration wants to show its displeasure with this execution and try to bring an end to the war in Yemen, there’s got to be a distancing from Saudi Arabia, beginning with cutting off some of these arms supplies,” says William Hartung, senior adviser to the Security Assistance Monitor and director of the Arms and Security Project at the Center for International Policy.

We also speak with Toby Jones, an associate professor of history and director of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Rutgers University and author of "Desert Kingdom: How Oil and Water Forged Modern Saudi Arabia," and with Ali al-Ahmed, the founder and director of the Institute for Gulf Affairs.

Read on for full transcript...


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