Possible sanctions on Saudi Arabia for murder of Jamal Khashoggi?

  • There is international speculation that sanctions will be imposed on Saudi Arabia following the killing of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

    Initially Saudi Arabia denied knowledge of Khashoggi’s disappearance. The country’s public prosecutor now admits his death and claims he was killed in a fight in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. 18 Saudi nationals have been arrested and investigations are ongoing.

    Prior to admitting the journalist’s death, Saudi Arabia had already threatened backlash if sanctions are imposed. The country produces a substantial amount of the world’s oil and cutting back on production and implementing embargos could cause significant problems. This was seen in 1973 when the Organisation of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries implemented an embargo on the US and other countries seen to support Israel in the Arab-Israeli war, resulting in rationing at gas stations.

    Donald Trump initially warned there would be “very severe” consequences if Saudi Arabia was involved in Jamal Khashoggi’s murder. Following the nation’s admission of the murder, Trump said they have been a “great ally” but “what happened was unacceptable”. However, he has warned against the impact sanctions would have on the US economy, namely, canceling a $110 billion arms deal would hurt the US “far more than it hurts them”.

    In a joint statement by the UK, France and Germany, “credible facts” have been demanded. Germany will not export arms to Saudi Arabia until an explanation is received and Khashoggi’s killers have been brought to justice.