Washington (Apr. 16)
– The State Department admitted today that it is considering selling TOW anti-tank missiles to Saudi Arabia. Department spokesman Dean Fischer said no decisions had been made on the time nor date and the number of these missiles to be sold to Saudi Arabia.
Fischer was commenting on a news report that the Reagan Administration had agreed to sell the Saudis 10,000 of the anti-tank missiles as well as ground radar stations. He said he knew nothing about the radar stations. The spokesman said the U.S. has an on-going relationship with Saudi Arabia and has already sold Saudi Arabia 5000 of the missiles.
Fischer refused to comment on reports that the Administration is delaying sending to Congress official notification of its decision to sell the Saudis AWACS and enhanced weaponry for the F-15s it previously sold the Saudis because of growing Congressional opposition to the proposed sale. He would only repeat what he has been saying for the past three days, that the Aministration would send Congress the official notification when it was ready.
Asked about the Israeli air raid into Lebanon this morning, Fischer said he had seen only news reports but he could only repeat what Secretary of State Alexander Haig said in Paris April II, which was, that the United States is “opposed to any violence from any of the parties concerned.”