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US Senator calls for replacing Saudi crown prince

Tehran, US Sen. Rand Paul has said that he believed Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman is involved in the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and 'is going to have to be replaced.'

'There's no way 15 people were sent from Saudi Arabia to Turkey to kill a dissident without the approval of the crown prince I feel certain that the crown prince was involved and that he directed this. And that's why I think that we cannot continue to have relations with him. And so I think he's gonna have to be replaced, frankly,' Paul told the Fox News.

The Saudi government's overnight announcement that Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi died in a fistfight at its consulate in Turkey was 'insulting,' and provided another reason Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman is 'gonna have to be replaced,' Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., told 'Fox News Sunday.'

Authorities in Saudi Arabia said 18 suspects were in custody and intelligence officials had been fired over the episode, weeks after they initially claimed Khashoggi had left their embassy unharmed. Turkish officials have said an 'assassination squad' from the Kingdom, including an official from Prince Mohammed's entourage, and an 'autopsy expert' flew in ahead of time and laid in wait for Khashoggi at the consulate.

'I think it's insulting to anyone who's analyzing this with any kind of intelligent background to think that, oh, a fistfight led to a dismemberment with a bone saw,' Paul said, referring to unconfirmed reports that the Saudi squad at the embassy included a man toting a bone saw.

The senator added the United States should discontinue its arms sales to Saudi Arabia and have a serious discussion with Riyadh about 'whether or not they want to be an ally or they want to be an enemy.'

Khashoggi, who has been working for The Washington Post newspaper and has been known for his criticism of Saudi authorities, went missing in Istanbul on October 2 after he entered the Saudi consulate and never came out. The incident caused an outcry in Turkey as well as many Western countries.

After denying any knowledge of Khashoggi's whereabouts for two weeks, Saudi Arabia admitted on Friday that the journalist died in a fight inside its consulate. It also said 18 people had been arrested as part of the case.

Source: Islamic Republic News Agency - IRNA


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