U.S. Markets close in 5 hrs 10 mins

Saudi Arabia says ending British arms exports would help Iran

LONDON, June 20 (Reuters) - Iran would be the only beneficiary of any end to arms exports from Britain to Saudi Arabia, the kingdom's minister of state for foreign affairs said on Thursday, adding that the deployment of weapons in Yemen was legitimate.

A UK court earlier found that Britain broke the law by allowing arms sales to Saudi Arabia that might have been used in Yemen's war. The ruling does not halt Britain's arms exports but means the granting of new licences will be paused.

"The decision by the court in the UK has to do with procedures for licensing, not any wrongdoing that took place," Adel al-Jubeir told reporters in London.

"The coalition is an ally of the West and the coalition is fighting a legitimate war at the behest of a legitimate government to stop Iran and its proxies from taking over a strategically important country - so the only beneficiary of a cut-off of weapons to the coalition is going to be Iran." (Reporting by Guy Faulconbirdge; writing by Alistair Smout; editing by Stephen Addison)