Rep. Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarOmar introduces a bill to sanction the Saudi crown prince for the murder of Khashoggi. Progressives pressure the White House to overturn the salary ruling. Mehdi Hasan Hosts MSNBC’s Sunday Show in Primetime MORE (D-Minn.) He introduced legislation on Tuesday to sanction Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for his role in the murder of US-based Saudi journalist and critic Jamal Khashoggi.
The Biden administration last week announced sanctions against dozens of Saudi officials and individuals believed to be linked to the gruesome killing of Khashoggi in October 2018, but failed to punish the crown prince despite US intelligence approval. an operation to “catch or kill” the journalist. .
Omar said in a statement Tuesday that sanctioning Crown Prince Mohammed is “a test of our humanity.”
“If the United States of America really supports freedom of expression, democracy and human rights, there is no reason not to sanction Mohammed bin Salman, a man who according to our own intelligence approved the murder of the Saudi journalist and resident of the United States. Jamal Khashoggi “. she said.
“Every minute that the crown prince escapes punishment is a time when the interests of the United States, human rights and the lives of Saudi dissidents are in danger,” he added.
The legislation, called the Mohammed bin Salman Must be Sanctioned, or MBS MBS, Act, includes asset freezes to block and ban all of the Crown Prince’s transactions related to the United States. It also blocks their entry into the country.
Crown Prince Mohammed is the heir apparent to his 85-year-old father, King Salman of Saudi Arabia, and is considered the de facto ruler of the kingdom with enormous power and influence.
Last week’s declassified intelligence report said in its assessment that the crown prince supports “the use of violent measures to silence dissidents abroad, including Khashoggi.”
Khashoggi, a former contributor to The Washington Post, went into exile in Virginia amid his outspoken criticism of the Saudi monarchy. He was lured to the Saudi Arabian Consulate in Istanbul in 2018, where he was attacked, suffocated and dismembered.
The US intelligence report said Crown Prince Mohammed “approved an operation in Istanbul, Turkey to capture or kill Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.”
The Biden administration announced a series of punitive actions after the report was released, including visa restrictions for 79 people believed to be associated with Khashoggi’s death and sanctions against a former top intelligence official and the prince’s personal security team. inheritor.
But the decision to exempt the crown prince from such measures was rejected by Democratic lawmakers who have called for concrete measures to hold him accountable.
Omar said that sanctions against the crown prince should be instituted in the same way as those applied to the leaders of Iran and Russia who “commit destabilizing or violent acts.”
“We must not treat the crown prince of Saudi Arabia differently,” he said. “No one should get away with murder. And as a global superpower, we must lead with our values. “
White House Press Secretary Jen psakiJen Psaki Tanden Withdraws Nomination As Biden Budget Chief Cardona Seeks To Turn From DeVos Era In Education White House Says Weekly Vaccine Doses Will Increase To 15.2 Million PLUS on Monday he defended the suspension of sanctions on the crown prince saying that, “historically, the United States, through the Democratic and Republican presidents, has not typically sanctioned the government leaders of the countries where we have diplomatic relations.”
The Biden administration has stepped back from relations with the crown prince directly, but has emphasized the strong ties between Washington and Riyadh, including finding a diplomatic solution to the civil war in Yemen and efforts to confront destabilizing activities and disruptions. Iran’s nuclear ambitions.
“So our goal is to recalibrate the relationship, prevent this from happening again, and find ways, as there still are, to work together with the Saudi leadership while continuing to clarify where we believe the action is unacceptable,” Psaki said.