The White House said on Monday that the United States reserves the right to sanction Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the future if “necessary”.
“Of course we reserve the right to take any action at a time and manner of our choosing. Historically, the United States through Democratic and Republican presidents has not typically sanctioned government leaders of countries where we have diplomatic relations”, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki remarked.
Earlier in the day, UN Special Rapporteur Agnes Callamard called on the US to impose sanctions against the Saudi crown prince in connection with the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi Embassy in Turkey.
In 2018, the journalist went missing in Istanbul after visiting the Saudi Consulate. The kingdom denied knowledge of Khashoggi’s whereabouts, but later admitted he had been murdered inside the diplomatic mission. Since then, several people have been sentenced over their alleged role in his murder. The royal family, in turn, denied any involvement in the journalist’s death.
Khashoggi’s case took a new turn on Friday, after US intelligence made public a report indicating that the operation to kill the journalist had been approved by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.