USA in a dilemma - crown prince or truth about journalist Jamal Khashoggi - COMMENT

USA in a dilemma - crown prince or truth about journalist Jamal Khashoggi - COMMENT
© AP

Baku. 22 November. REPORT.AZ/ The murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Saudi Arabia's Consulate General in Istanbul has revealed a number of hidden motives. This has also created problems between Saudi Arabia and the United States. Official Washington is facing a dilemma, because the Saudi Arabia is a very important state for the United States.

The trade turnover between the two countries was $ 46.5 billion in 2017. Saudi Arabia and the United States signed a $ 100 billion arms deal. The White House relied heavily on Saudi Arabia in oil exports at times of anti-Iran sanctions. Yesterday, US President Donald Trump thanked Saudi Arabia for lowering oil prices: "Oil prices getting lower. Great! Like a big Tax Cut for America and the World. Enjoy! $54, was just $82. Thank you to Saudi Arabia, but let’s go lower!"

A few days ago, the Washington Post wrote referring to the US Central Intelligence Agency that the instruction to kill journalist Jamal Khashoggi was made by Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Once the information was spread, Donald Trump met with Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and Director of the Central Intelligence Agency Gina Haspel. On November 20, the US President was expected to make a statement on whether the crown prince was involved in the murder of a journalist. Yes, Donald Trump did this but his statements raised new questions. He issued a written statement on economic relations between Saudi Arabia and the United States. Donald Trump pointed out the trade relations between the two countries, stressing that it is at a record level. He called the murder of the journalist "brutality" and said that the investigation of the US intelligence continued to take decisive steps against this crime: “As a result of independent investigations, we have gained a lot of details about this brutal crime. Saudi Arabia presents Khashoggi as an enemy of the state. But we do not accept it. King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman say they are not aware of the planned murder of journalist. Our intelligence continues to collect information on the issue. The Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman may have been aware of this tragedy, maybe not". The main contradiction is the last sentence. Because this crime has made it difficult for the US government to maintain relations with Muhammed bin Salman.  Donald Trump said Saudi Arabia is an important ally in the fight against Iran: "The United States wants to continue unshakable cooperation with Saudi Arabia." By the way, Saudi Arabia's public prosecutor called for the death penalty for five people accused of involvement in Jamal Khashoggi killing.

But what USA should do? Should it cut off the relationship with the king, or impose sanctions on the crown prince or monarch? Should Saudi Arabia oust its crown prince? Refuse from billions? Give up the Kingdom to China and Russia? Give up Near and Middle East project? Stop fighting against the Iranian authorities? Give up its interests in Syria and Iraq? Such questions reflect US interests in the region. Imposing sanctions on Saudi Arabia monarch and the crown prince could reduce confidence in the White House. After the revolution of 1979, Iran's last king, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, wanted to take shelter in the United States but was not allowed at that time. From this point of view, the White House has a tradition to sacrifice monarchs for their state in times of difficulties. At that time, the alternative of the US in Iran was military force. However, as they moved to the revolutionary forces, the criminals took over the initiative and gained power. It is possible to assume that the White House has an alternative to Saudi Arabia. It is supposed that Michael Pompeo has prepared a new roadmap on Saudi Arabia. According to that plan, a member of the royal family will be declared a "scapegoat." Following the official visit of Secretary of State to the Saudi Arabia in October, the steps taken by official Riyadh on the murder of Khashoggi proves that there was such a project. The controversy in Donald Trump's  may well be one of the arguments that prove that. However, opposition members of the Royal Family of Mohammed bin Salman, also started operating before he sat on the throne. 72-year-old Prince Ahmed bin Abdul-Aziz, brother of the current king, has returned from England to Riyadh during the events. It is reported that his tribal members supported by the Kingdom's security forces, and Western governments.

Saudi Arabia's 11 officials have been banned from joining the Schengen Treaty. Germany said it would not sell weapons to the Kingdom until Jamal Khashoggi case clarified. France and Britain did not rule out the possibility of imposing sanctions on Saudi Arabia. By the way, the attitude of European leaders towards the Kingdom can also be regarded as pressure on Donald Trump's government.

After the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, protests against the king and the crown prince are rising. The opposition thinks that King Salman will defend his son while he is on the throne and then quietly hand over power to Muhammad. However, the royal family does not support the transfer of power to Ahmed bin Abdul-Aziz. 72-year-old prince, who lived in London for many years, met with senior US officials last week. So, the US has two options on this issue. If they fail in bringing Muhammad bin Salman to power, then the government will be handed over to Ahmed bin Abdel Aziz and his team. This option can be considered suitable for both the royal family and Saudi allies from the West. Otherwise, the future of the monarchy will be questionable. If the US does not defend Salman and the Crown Prince, they can turn to Russia and China. The White House does not want this. To prevent this, the United States can only take advantage of the revolution in Saudi Arabia. Speaking to reporters in the White House about US-Saudi relations Trump also touched upon his interests in the UK while talking about US-Saudi relations: "We will not give up hundreds of billions of dollars. Otherwise oil prices would go through the roof." Noting that he did not have personal business with Saudi Arabia, he said: Trump during his trip to Saudi Arabia last year landed the mega deal for weapons as part of a Saudi agreement to spend $450 billion in the U.S. — “a record amount of money” If we foolishly cancel these contracts, Russia and China would be the enormous beneficiaries — and very happy to acquire all of this newfound business. It would be a wonderful gift to them directly from the United States”.

Undoubtedly, this issue is seriously discussed in the United States. Donald Trump's opponents, especially the Democrats Party, are trying to get the most out of the opportunity. The "Washington Post" newspaper prepares the national and international public opinion on the platform by disseminating the information of the CIA. In addition, Donald Trump tries to keep the issue from being resolved in favor of the king and his son. It is also important to emphasize that the CIA has not yet denied information that crown prince ordered the murder. So, the information about the murder of Jamal Khashoggi is so important to the United States. It can be assumed that the White House will try to keep Mohammed bin Salman away from the events. This support has been continuing since October 2, when the journalist was killed. Nevertheless, official Washington will reckon with state interests in Europe and will reckon with its allies in Europe. This can lead to a change in power in the Kingdom. The United States will continue to hold meetings with the new forces likely to be brought to power in order to save billions of dollars. The White House will have difficulty securing interests in the region by handing over Saudi Arabia to Russia and China. So, in order to avoid this problem, it tries not to lose its leading role in the future of the Kingdom. This leadership is not dependent solely on King Salman and his son Mohammed bin Salman.

In fact, what's happening once again proves that the United States will not abandon the Middle East project. It will continue to strengthen their positions in Syria and Iraq. It is also possible to conclude that Donald Trump's recent statement on his visit to one of the hot spots in the Middle East proves that. Moreover, the fact that the central Iraqi government intends to increase oil exports from Kirkuk is also a factor that strengthens this claim.

It is known that for over 40 years, the presidents in the United States gave preference to change the regime in Iran. The loss of Saudi Arabia is the weakening of the struggle against Tehran.

Thus, the disclosure of the name that instructed Jamal Khashoggi's  killing can be seen as a signal of serious changes the country and the Middle East. Because he was not an ordinary journalist and ordinary citizen of Saudi Arabia. Jamal Khashoggi was one of those who wanted to make changes in the Kingdom and to make the reforms happen in reality. In all cases untying this knot can make a page in the US history and the political history of the world.

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