The Obama administration has told a congressman it cannot ship Predator or Reaper remotely piloted vehicles to Jordan because of restrictions under the Missile Technology Control Regime.
Rep. Duncan Hunter, California Republican, has pressed President Obama in a series of letters to send unarmed surveillance Predators to Jordan to help the kingdom in its war against the Islamic State. The terror army controls lands around Jordan’s border and has vowed to bring down the rule of King Abdullah II.
In an Aug. 11 letter from Julia Frifield, assistant secretary of State for legislative affairs, the administration say the missile treaty means “an international commitment to a presumption of denial for the transfer of unmanned aerial systems with the range and payload” of a Predator or a Reaper.
“The United States has not granted access to these particular armed platforms to any other partners in the region, and remains dedicated to the continued responsible regulation of any potential future transfers of this capability,” the letter states.
The letter points out the U.S. has provided Jordan with 300 munitions for its fleet of F-16s, which have been conducting bombing runs along with other coalition aircraft over Syria and Iraq. The Pentagon has also shipped two millions rounds of small arms and over 20,000 rifles and machine guns. Also provide have been tactical reconnaissance aircraft.
The U.S. has agreed to provide Jordan with $1 billion annually in security and economic aid.
“The Unites States stands side-by-side with Jordan against extremist threats and we will not waver in our support for this critical regional partner,” Ms. Frifield wrote.