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Riyadh Must Be Held More Accountable for Its Crimes

Armand Yazdani

Posted on March 9, 2021 04:19

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The Saudi government has caused many deaths in Yemen and has killed dissidents such as Jamal Khashoggi, yet the US has failed to sufficiently punish MBS and the rest of the Kingdom.

Before the release of a US report investigating the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi,  President Joe Biden phoned Saudi Arabia’s King Salman for the first time, relaying the US’s valuing of “universal human rights,” according to the White House.

That said, the Biden Administration’s relations with Saudi Arabia have already tensed after the US pulled support for the war Saudi Arabia instigated. Moreover, with the report expected blaming Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for the murder of Khashoggi, the White House will unveil a new policy to punish any countries responsible for murdering journalists working for American outlets. However, in addition to that, the Biden Administration must punish Saudi Arabia more for its war in Yemen and other atrocities. 

Biden’s response to Saudi Arabia’s treatment of Khashoggi and Yemen has rattled both the critics of Riyadh and its supporters. Even though the US imposed sanctions on the group sent to kill the journalist and issued visa restrictions on 76 Saudis accused of harassing journalists, critics of the crown prince and activists,  MBS evaded punishment.

Although Biden risks further straining relations with Saudi Arabia if he punishes MBS- the future leader of the country- US intelligence confirmed that the crown prince was responsible for the killing of Khashoggi. In failing to punish MBS, the US is ergo allowing a murderer to roam free or as Washington Post publisher Fred Ryan put it, “a one murder free pass.”

Aiming to silence Khashoggi’s dissent, MBS’s underlings not only killed the journalists, they brutally dismembered him. Allowing the crown prince to evade punishment downplays the evil of Khashoggi’s murder and abets it.


In addition to the Khashoggi’s murder and the lack of womens rights in Saudi Arabia, the country has been responsible for the calamitous Yemen War. Yemen’s Arab Republic, strongly supported by Riyadh, has claimed about a quarter-million lives in the war fighting Houthi rebels, crippled the country’s already stagnant economy and caused a massive famine.

And in an effort to help its ally, Saudi Arabia began launching several airstrikes in 2015, killing many Yemenis. One strike in 2019 killed and wounded 200 civilians. Moreover, Saudi-led naval forces have killed several Yemeni fishermen including seven children. It’s worth noting that MBS was behind Riyadh’s intervention which destroyed Yemen. Allowing him to go unpunished only supports Saudi Arabia’s violent campaigns in Yemen. 


If the US wants to hold Saudi Arabia accountable for its disastrous aistrikes in Yemen and murder of Khashoggi among other human rights abuses, MBS and his conspirators must be punished. The fact that he has evaded punishment although he spearheaded airstrikes on Yemen and orchestrated the killing of the journalist is reprehensible. In failing to punish MBS, the Biden administration is enabling him to continue killing Yemenis as well as future dissidents. 

Armand Yazdani

Posted on March 9, 2021 04:19

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Source: FOX News

The White House Friday sidestepped a question on whether Israel and Saudi Arabia are "important allies" of the United States.

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