THE NATIONAL INTEREST
Joe Biden’s Pressure On Saudi Arabia Has High Stakes
by Ilan Berman
March 1, 2021
Last week, the White House decided to publicly release a long-suppressed intelligence report pinning the blame on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, for the 2018 death of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi. On the heels of the disclosure, the U.S. Treasury Department leveled new sanctions against a slew of high-ranking individuals linked to the grisly killing (though, notably, not against the crown prince). That it did is hardly a surprise. The idea that Riyadh should pay some sort of a cost for Khashoggi’s brutal demise is hardly a controversial one. Indeed, such a move has been advocated for years on both sides of the U.S. political aisle. What comes next, however, is likely to prove decisive. READ MORE
HARVARD GAZETTE Karen Elliott House: Biden may regret releasing report on Khashoggi murder Biden seems to want to humiliate the crown prince anew by releasing the report at Congress’ insistence. Democrat activists in Congress who despise the abrasive crown prince in large part because he was close to Donald Trump will undoubtedly push President Biden to take more punishing actions against the crown prince and Saudi Arabia than merely releasing old news blaming him for Jamal Khashoggi’s murder.
NEWSWEEK Jonathan Tobin: Despite Khashoggi’s Murder, America Must Still Choose: Saudis or Iran? Kicking the Saudis to the curb and even sanctioning MBS, the country’s de facto leader, is inextricably tied to the question of what to do about Iran—a nation that is likely an even worse human rights offender and is assuredly a much more aggressive Islamist nation that poses a threat to the rest of the Middle East, with or without the nuclear weapons it seeks.