Secretary of State Rex Tillerson professed in his Senate confirmation testimony that “our values are our interests when it comes to human rights.” Yet one of his State Department’s first acts may be to abandon that stance with the tiny but strategic Persian Gulf state of Bahrain.
Concerns in Congress and the human rights community are high that the Trump team is planning to approve a multibillion-dollar sale of Lockheed Martin F-16 fighter planes to Bahrain without any conditions, reversing an Obama administration decision to demand the government take small reform steps in exchange for the jets.
“I’m hoping the Bahrain deal is going to roll out without the restrictions,” Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) said last month. “I think it could happen soon.”
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