US Imposes Sanctions on 17 Saudis for Khashoggi Killing
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The United States imposed economic sanctions on 17 Saudi officials for their role in the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
The US Treasury Department sanctions were the first concrete response by the Trump administration to Khashoggi’s death in the Saudi consulate in Turkey in October, Reuters reported.
Among those sanctioned were Saud al-Qahtani, who has been removed from his position as a top aide to the powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, as well as the Saudi Consul General Mohammad al-Otaibi and members of a 15-person team Turkey has identified as being involved.
It is the same list of people that the Saudis themselves have blamed and arrested for the killing, which the Saudi government at first denied, then called an accident, before labeling it a "rogue" operation.
That group includes the deputy intelligence chief Ahmed al-Asiri, who has been blamed by the Saudis for authorizing the operation. The Saudi prosecutor's spokesman and deputy attorney-general Sheikh Shalan al-Shalan said Thursday one unnamed individual was responsible, but did not name Asiri. Still, it is clear the Saudis are working to separate the Crown Prince, the strong-willed young leader who is the real power behind his father King Salman's throne, and instead blame a smaller chain of command.
The central question now is whether the US will be willing to go along with that or whether they will directly implicate the crown prince. Republican and Democratic members of Congress have said there are signs he gave the command, but so far the administration has refused to go that far.