WASHINGTON:- President Donald Trumpinfo-icon on Wednesday vetoed a trio of congressional resolutions aimed at blocking his administration from selling billions of dollars of weaponsinfo-icon to Saudi Arabiainfo-icon and the United Arab Emiratesinfo-icon.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo last month cited threats from Iraninfo-icon as a reason to approve the $8.1 billion arms sale to the two USinfo-icon allies in the Persian Gulfinfo-icon.

Saudi Arabia is an enemy of Iran and tension has mounted between the UAEinfo-icon and Tehraninfo-icon over several issues, including the UAE's coordination with US efforts to curb what it calls Iran's malign activities in the region.

But Trump's decision in May to sell the weapons in a way that would have bypassed congressional review infuriated lawmakers. In a partisan pushback to Trump's foreign policyinfo-icon, Democrats and Republicans banded together to pass resolutions to block the weapons sale.

The White House had argued that stopping the sale would send a signal that the United Statesinfo-icon doesn't stand by its partners and allies, particularly at a time when threats against them are increasing.

The arms package included thousands of precision-guided munitions, other bombs and ammunition and aircraft maintenance support.

Anger has been mounting in Congress over the Trump administration's close ties to the Saudis, fuelled by the high civilian casualties in the Saudi-led warinfo-icon in Yemeninfo-icon a military campaign the US is assisting and the killing of US-based columnist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi agents.

Trump's decision in May to sell the weapons further inflamed the tensions.

"The president's shameful veto tramples over the will of the bipartisan, bicameral Congress and perpetuates his administration's involvement in the horrific conflictinfo-icon in Yemen, which is a stain on the conscience of the worldinfo-icon," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement.

It didn't appear that lawmakers opposed to the sale had enough votes to override Trump's veto.

Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, led the effort, but he had support from two of Trump's GOP allies in Congress: Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Rand Paul of Kentucky.

Last month, members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee grilled State Department officials about the sale. Chairman Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., said it was a "slap in the face" to Congress and accused the Trump administration of using threats from Iran as a "convenient excuse" to push through the sale.

In a statement released Wednesday night, Engel said, "The president's veto sends a grim message that Americainfo-icon's foreign policy is no longer rooted in our core values namely a respect for human rightsinfo-icon and that he views Congress not as a coequal branch of government, but an irritant to be avoided or ignored."