As the Trump administration refuses to punish Saudi Arabia with anything more than a meaningless slap on the wrist following the kingdom's murder of Washington Post journalist and dissident Jamal Khashoggi, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani declared on Wednesday that the Saudi killing of Khashoggi—as well as the oil monarchy's vicious bombing campaign in Yemen—could not have taken place without U.S. "protection."
"If there was no American protection, would the people of Yemen still have faced the same brutal bombing?"
—Hassan Rouhani, Iranian President"No one would imagine that in today's world and in this century, we would witness such an organized murder, with an apparatus organizing such a heinous killing," Rouhani said during a cabinet meeting. "I don't think that a country would dare commit such a crime without the protection of America."
Rouhani went on to rip the U.S. for continuing to fuel the Saudis' ongoing assault on Yemen, which has killed thousands of civilians—including many young children—and sparked the worst humanitarian crisis on the planet.
"If there was no American protection, would the people of Yemen still have faced the same brutal bombing?" the Iranian president asked.
Rouhani's remarks came shortly after U.S. President Donald Trump described Saudi Arabia's handling of Khashoggi's killing as "the worst cover-up ever," but once again declined to place any blame for the gruesome murder on Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Unlike Germany, the Trump administration has not halted its massive weapons deal with the Saudis over Khashoggi's murder. Instead, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced on Tuesday that the U.S. is revoking the visas of 21 Saudis suspected to have played a role in the killing—a punishment that was immediately decried as "a joke."