WASHINGTON (Apr. 28)
Rep. Benjamin Rosenthal (D. NY) today urged President Carter to reconsider his decision to issue export licenses for the sale of 580 additional improved Hawk Missiles to Saudi Arabia for $1.6 billion which would double the number of such missiles sold to that country.
In a letter to Carter, Rosenthal reminded the President that during the campaign last year Carter criticized a Ford Administration proposal to sell Saudi Arabia 650 Maverick missiles because the then Democratic Presidential candidate said “there is no reason to think they can be used only for defense. There are only reasons to fear that we will increase the chance of conflict.”
While acknowledging the importance of Saudi Arabia in the search for a Mideast peace, Rosenthal said he was worried because Saudi Arabia already has enough missiles “well beyond” its “realistic defense requirements” and because there is a possibility that the Saudis might transfer the weapons to other Arab countries.