Donald Trump promises 'severe punishment' for Saudi Arabia if it killed journalist Jamal Khashoggi

| 14.10,18. 12:16 PM |





Donald Trump promises 'severe punishment' for Saudi Arabia if it killed journalist Jamal Khashoggi


Photo: Mr Trump met with Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in March. (Reuters: Jonathan Ernst)


Turkish media publishes vision of alleged Saudi "assassination squad" (ABC News)


United States President Donald Trump has promised to inflict "severe punishment" on Saudi Arabia if it is found to have murdered missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi.


In an interview with US 60 Minutes, Mr Trump said the Saudis denied involvement "in every way you can imagine" when the crown prince spoke to his son-in-law Jared Kushner.


"Could it be them? Yes," Mr Trump said.


But Mr Trump told reporters at the White House the United States would be "punishing itself" by halting military sales to Saudi Arabia even if it is proven that Khashoggi was killed inside the country's consulate in Istanbul.


"I'll tell you what I don't want to do. I don't want to hurt jobs. I don't want to lose an order like that. And you know what, there are other ways of punishing," he said.


"There's a lot at stake. And, maybe especially so because this man was a reporter.


"There's something, you'll be surprised to hear me say that, there's something really terrible and disgusting about that if that was the case."


Khashoggi, a prominent critic of Riyadh and a US resident, disappeared on October 2 after visiting the Saudi consulate.


Turkey's Government believes he was deliberately killed inside the building and his body removed.


Mr Trump has forged closer ties with Saudi Arabia and is under international and domestic pressure to help determine what happened to Khashoggi and punish Saudi Arabia if investigations show its Government had him killed.


Republican and Democratic politicians alike have demanded firm action.


There was already mounting concern over civilian deaths caused by a Saudi-led military coalition in Yemen's civil war and some politicians have said Washington should block military sales to Riyadh if the allegations over Khashoggi are proven.


But Mr Trump is firmly opposed to such a step.


"I actually think we'd be punishing ourselves if we did that," he said.


"There are other things we can do that are very, very powerful, very strong and we'll do them," he added, without saying what those measures might be.


Under US law, major foreign military sales can be blocked by Congress.


An informal review process lets key politicians use a practice known as a "hold" to stall deals if they have concerns such as whether the weapons being supplied would be used to kill civilians.


Major US defence contractors, including Lockheed Martin Corp and Raytheon Co, are among the beneficiaries of Washington's close ties to Riyadh and would be hurt by the halting of any major deal.


Mr Trump said his administration won a $155 billion military order from Saudi Arabia and that it was worth 450,000 US jobs.


"If they don't buy it from us, they're going to buy it from Russia or they're going to buy it from China," he said.


"Think of that, $US110 billion, all they're going to do is give it to other countries, and I think that would be very foolish."


It was unclear what measures Mr Trump might take against Saudi Arabia, which is the world's largest oil exporter, and one of his top allies.


The Trump administration plans to reimpose sanctions on oil exports from Iran on November 5 and Mr Trump has urged Saudi Arabia to boost oil output to help make up for the loss.


ABC/Reuters





(Votes: 0)

Write Your Comment
Comment

Other News

Iran: Intensifying pressure on prisoners Three killed as magnitude 6.4 quake strikes Indonesia Saudi prince allegedly sought to lure Khashoggi Trump's UN ambassador resigns post S.Arabia must show journalist made exit: Turkish leader Iran Uprising-No. 213 Maryam Rajavi commends Iran's protesting bazaar merchants: Iran Uprising - 211 ..Truck drivers’ strike, despite the arrest of a large number of them, entered its third week Khashoggi: Erdogan hopes to avoid unwanted situation انسحاب مفاجئ لميليشيات إيرانية من شرقي ديرالزور وتسليمها للروس Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi disappears after entering Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul Truck drivers’ strike In Iran will deepen the crisis 'At least 30' dead after tsunami hits Indonesia's Sulawesi island Air Niugini plane overshoots runway in Micronesia and sinks in ocean A letter to the German company Siemens for power generation..Lawyer Jihad Zebian Assad shelling kills civilian in Aleppo province’s Kafr Hamra Iran: 31 executions including 9 political prisoners within 20 days Gunmen attack Iranian military parade in Ahvas, killing dozens Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL): Conclusion of the closing arguments in the Ayyash et al. case Two Iranian militiamen killed in Syria New Details on the Iranian Regime’s Terrorist Activities in Europe Iraq parliament holds emergency talks as Basra burns Iran: 11 executions in Zahedan and Gohardasht prisons Iraq assembly to hold emergency session on Basra unrest Fukushima disaster: Japan acknowledges first radiation death from nuclear plant hit by tsunami Iran Uprising - No. 208 More than a thousand arrests in August uprising; call for urgent action to release prisoners Hundreds of Rohingya refugees call on the international community to make efforts to ensure their security Blasts heard near Damascus, Israeli airstrikes reported Toronto's Yorkdale mall evacuated after gunshots anniversary of the massacre of political prisoners commemorated th30 in global conference of Iranian communities Syrians mark fifth anniversary of Assad chemical massacre in Ghouta