Democrats aim to punish Saudi Arabia over Khashoggi
US House Democrats are considering to introduce a new bill punishing Saudi Arabia over the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Iran Press/ America: Representative Brad Sherman’s bill, nicknamed “No Nuclear Weapons for Saudi Arabia Act of 2018,” would prohibit Saudi Arabia’s construction of nuclear weapons from the material it buys from the US.
Obtained exclusively by Vox, the bill would also force Riyadh to implement strict regulations in order to ensure that classified material regarding US nuclear technology won’t fall into the wrong hands.
Sherman told Vox: “I don’t think this bill would’ve passed prior to the events in Istanbul. Now I think we have a chance.” It’s also very possible a Republican will co-sponsor the bill when it’s officially introduced in the next 10 congressional days.
Jamal Khashoggi, a US resident, was killed by Saudi officials inside the country’s consulate in Istanbul last month, that led to a major international outcry over his death, including from many in the US who wanted to see the Washington-Riyadh relationship curtailed.
There’s also some bipartisan support to stop nuclear talks with Riyadh in the Senate.
Sens. "Edward Markey" (D-MA) and "Marco Rubio" (R-FL), for example, have sent letters to US president Donald Trump requesting he at least suspend negotiations with Saudi Arabia over the nuclear deal. It’s unclear if either of them will draft parallel legislation to the House version, although a spokesperson for Rubio’s office told that the senator “possibly” could consider a bill in the future. Markey’s office didn’t respond to repeated requests for comment.
Meanwhile, according to Washington Post, the Trump administration is ending the practice of refueling Saudi-coalition aircraft, halting the most tangible and controversial aspect of U.S. support for the kingdom’s three-year war in Yemen.
The move comes amid escalating criticism of Saudi Arabia’s conduct in the war. Lawmakers from both parties have demanded that the United States suspend weapons sales to Riyadh and cut off aerial refueling of aircraft flown by the Saudi-led coalition, which monitoring groups have accused of killing thousands of civilians.
This is a positive step. US participation is unauthorized, unconstitutional and must end completely. I will soon bring SJ Res 54 back to the floor, so the Senate can end US participation in the Yemen war as a matter of law, not simply as a matter of the president’s discretion. https://t.co/O86N74b6ME— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) 9 November 2018
In a respond to the Washington Post report, Vermont senator Bernie Sanders, called US participation in refueling of Saudi-coalition aircraft in Yemen conflict unauthorized, unconstitutional and said it must end completely.
The U.S.-Saudi relationship has come under closer scrutiny since Saudi Arabia acknowledged that its agents killed Jamal Khashoggi, a prominent Saudi journalist, last month. Democrats, bolstered by a string of midterm election victories in the House, have also called for greater oversight of the war. 101/207