US State Department: Saudi Arabia is a key ally

FILE – In this March 20, 2018, file photo, President Donald Trump shakes hands with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. The Trump administration is signing off on selling more than $1.3 billion in artillery to Saudi Arabia. The State Department says the administration told Congress on April 5 that it plans to approve the sale. The package includes about 180 Paladin howitzer systems. The artillery-firing vehicles launch 155mm shells. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

RIYADH (RAHNUMA) Saudi Arabia is a key ally and cooperation with the Kingdom protects forces from the Houthis, the US State Department said on Thursday.

The international community must stand up to the Iran-backed militia, which continues to obstruct the delivery of humanitarian aid to the Yemeni people, the department said during a hearing at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

The department also expressed its support for Saudi Arabia’s efforts to achieve peace in Yemen and said it would prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.

Earlier on Thursday, US Special Representative for Iran and Venezuela Elliott Abrams said the US will slap new sanctions on a number of Iranian officials and entities, including a judge who sentenced Iranian wrestler Navid Afkari to death.

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