The United States federal government has approved the export of tear gas to the Muslim Brotherhood-controlled government of Egypt, the State Department stated Monday.
A reporter asked Deputy Spokesman Patrick Ventrell about the sale of tear gas canisters from a U.S. manufacturer at a midday press conference, and Ventrell confirmed the State Department had authorized the deal in question.
“I can tell you that we have approved an export license for the shipment of U.S.-manufactured nonlethal riot control agents to the Egyptian Government,” he responded, with the caveat that “we strongly support the right of all Egyptians to assemble, to peacefully protest, and violence has no place in a free and democratic Egypt.”
The questioner followed up, asking whether the State Dept. required the manufacturer to remove any graphics indicating their product was made in America. “We did not advise the manufacturer to remove ‘Made in the USA’ from its labels,” Ventrell said. “We refer you to the manufacturer on the labeling of their products. But that was not a request from us.”