National Security Council spokesman John Kirby threatened a potential halt of arms sales to Saudi Arabia during a Thursday appearance on Fox Business Network.
“Arms sales … absolutely will be on the table, Neil,” Kirby told Fox Business host Neil Cavuto on “Cavuto Coast to Coast.” “I can tell you that that will be an option the president looks at, is the spate, the scale, the size, the whole program of arms sales to Saudi Arabia.” (RELATED: White House Calls For Less Reliance On OPEC As It Blocks Domestic Drilling)
OPEC announced a production cut of 2 million barrels of oil per day Oct. 5, despite efforts by President Joe Biden to persuade them against a cut. The Saudis confirmed Wednesday that the Biden administration asked them to delay announcing the production cut until November.
“We are just now starting this process, Neil, so I’m not in the position to tell you exactly what kind of decisions the president might make with respect to the relationship Saudi Arabia, but you heard him say himself there’s gonna be consequences and we will tee up a menu of options for the president to consider,” Kirby said.
Economic and energy experts have criticized Biden’s hostility to fossil fuel production, which some claim have caused higher energy prices.
“We think that the Saudis acted, as chair of OPEC+, in a shortsighted manner here by cutting supply right when supply on the oil market is the predominant challenge that we are facing right now,” Kirby said.
Cavuto pointed out that the Saudis could turn to Russia or China for weapon systems.
“Well, that’s up to them to decide, which is — the main point here, it is up to us to decide how to look at this bilateral relationship going forward. You asked about, well, will they just turn to Russia or China?” Kirby said. “They can decide for themselves who they will turn to for military support if they decide that that’s not a feasible approach anymore through the United States, or whether we curtail some of that military support, but that would take a long time. They are focused very much on American systems.”
The Saudi Embassy did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.
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