William Hartung chides  the Obama administration for trying to buy Saudi goodwill with weapons:
One justification that has been put forward for the continued flow of weaponry from the United States to Saudi Arabia is that it provides reassurance to the kingdom’s leadership that Washington won’t tilt toward the Iranians in the wake of the deal reached last year over Iran’s nuclear program. But if demonstrating a commitment to the Saudi government entails supporting deadly and reckless initiatives, like the war in Yemen, the policy is not worth the price.
It is a measure of how indefensible the administration’s support for the war on Yemen is that this absurd “reassurance” argument is the only one available to defend it. The U.S. shouldn’t have to “reassure” the Saudis and the other Gulf states of anything. The nuclear deal imposes restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program, and the supposed “windfall” that Iran was going to get from sanctions relief has actually been a trickle of a few billion dollars so far. At most, Iran will gain access to maybe fifty billion dollars of their own money when all is said and done, and that is less than the Saudis’ annual military budget. The Saudis and the other Gulf states should be grateful to the U.S. for ensuring that Iran won’t have the ability to acquire nuclear weapons for decades to come, but they know that if they bleat about being betrayed and abandoned they are more likely to receive a bribe to keep quiet. The administration didn’t let the whining of its useless regional clients keep it from successfully negotiating the nuclear deal, and they shouldn’t be catering to them once it was concluded.
Even if there were some need to placate the Saudis and the other Gulf states, keeping them happy isn’t worth the price of enabling war crimes and implicating the U.S. in the senseless devastation and starvation of an entire country.