Published: Sep 13, 2010 6:55 PM EDT
Updated: Sep 13, 2010 3:55 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Pentagon plans to ask Congress soon for permission to sell up to $60 billion in advanced weapons to Saudi Arabia, in what could be the largest single U.S. arms sale.

The sale has been in the works for months, as a hedge against the rising regional influence of Iran.

The U.S. is realigning its defense policies in the Persian Gulf as Iran improves the range and accuracy of missiles and other weapons that could threaten Israel or U.S. allies in Europe. Unlike some earlier proposed arms sales to Saudi Arabia, Congress is expected to approve it.

A Pentagon spokesman says the request is expected within a week or so.