The US administration on Friday released a declassified intelligence report on Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi's brutal 2018 killing that shows Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is responsible for the murder.

Iran PressAmerica: Khashoggi, a US resident who wrote opinion columns for the Washington Post critical of the crown prince’s policies, was killed and dismembered by a team of operatives linked to MBS in the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul.

As Riyadh denies any involvement by Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler, the US Office of the Director of National Intelligence said in the report, "We assess that Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman approved an operation in Istanbul, Turkey to capture or kill Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi."

The intelligence agency based its assessment on the crown price’s control of decision-making, the direct involvement of one of his key advisers and his own protective detail, and his "support for using violent measures to silence dissidents abroad, including Khashoggi," it added.

"Since 2017, the Crown Prince has had absolute control of the Kingdom’s security and intelligence organizations, making it highly unlikely that Saudi officials would have carried out an operation of this nature without the Crown Prince’s authorization," the report said.

In declassifying the report, President Joe Biden reversed his predecessor Donald Trump’s refusal to release it in defiance of a 2019 law, reflecting a new US willingness to challenge the kingdom on issues from human rights to the war in Yemen.

The Biden administration will announce sanctions and visa bans on Friday targeting Saudi Arabian citizens over the Khashoggi killing, although it will not impose sanctions on the crown prince, US officials said.

As it reassesses relations with one of its closest Arab allies, the United States is also considering the cancellation of arms deals with Saudi Arabia that pose human rights concerns while limiting future military sales to defensive weapons, sources familiar with the administration’s thinking said.

Khashoggi, 59, was a Saudi journalist living in self-imposed exile in Virginia who wrote opinion pieces for the Washington Post critical of the policies of the crown prince – known to some in the West as MBS.

He was lured on Oct. 2, 2018, to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul with a promise of a document that he needed to marry his Turkish fiancee. A team of operatives linked to MBS killed him there and dismembered his body. His remains have not been found.

Twenty-one men were arrested in the killing and five senior officials, including the deputy intelligence chief, Ahmed al-Asiri, and Saud al-Qahtani, a senior MBS aide, were sacked.

In January 2019, 11 people were put on trial behind closed doors. Five were given death sentences, which were commuted to 20 years in prison after they were forgiven by Khashoggi’s family, while three others were given jail terms.