US aided Jamal Khashoggi’s murder: Rouhani

Tehran: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Wednesday said that Saudi Arabia wouldn’t have dared to kill dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi without the support of the US, a close Riyadh ally.

Rouhani’s comments came after US President Donald Trump on Tuesday called Saudi Arabia’s account of Khashoggi’s killing in Turkey as “the worst cover up ever” and revoked visas for Saudi agents suspected in the killing.

“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 told a Cabinet meeting.

“I don’t think any country dares to commit such a crime without a green light from the US,” he was cited as saying by the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA).

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday said the journalist was the victim of a carefully planned “political murder” by Saudi intelligence officers and other officials.

Khashoggi, a supporter-turned-critic of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, disappeared on October 2 after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. The kingdom first denied any involvement in the disappearance, but amid mounting international pressure, acknowledged that he had been killed at the consulate in a rogue operation.

The Iranian President described the case as a “big test” for the so-called advocates of human rights, particularly the US and Europe, Press TV reported.

“Undoubtedly, the positions which the US, Europe and other world countries adopt on the issue will reveal the degree of their sensitivity to (protecting) human rights and to preserving human dignity,” he said.

“It seems that a clan that is governing a country and enjoying immunity is not afraid of committing such crimes, since it is depending on a super power’s support, in such a way that even the courts of human rights are not allowed to probe it.

“How come that a big nation like Yemen has been the target of intense bombing and the world remains silent? Would Yemeni people be bombarded in such a barbaric way if the US did not support it?” Rouhani asked.

He called on Turkey to conduct an impartial investigation into Khashoggi’s “unprecedented” murder. Erdogan said that Ankara would not allow those responsible for the killing to avoid justice.