国際・政治: ずくなしの冷や水

2018年10月16日

ジャマル・カショーギはアップルの腕時計をしていた

ジャマル・カショーギに関する情報が奔流のように流れています。この記事の下に掲げたFARSNEWSの記事が詳しいものの一つ。トルコの当局は殺害の部屋、そして解体の部屋まで突き止めている。下水道まで調べたそうです。総領事の公邸の庭を掘り返す話まで出ているとか。

あまりにいろいろな情報が出ているのがおかしいのですが、トルコは公式な発表はせず、匿名の公務員がリークした形で詳しい情報を流しています。いざとなれば、そんなことは知らないと否定もできる逃げ道を作っています。

サウジはトルコ側に多くのことを把握されてしまいました。暗殺のプロがこんなに自分らの動きを把握されてしまうドジを踏むだろうとの疑問もわきますが、サウジはジャマル・カショーギの事件を他の反体制派に対する見せしめにしようとした。それゆえ、隠ぺいの度合いが低いのだとの見方も出ています。身震いするほどのホラーです。もはや探偵小説ではありません。

ジャマル・カショーギはアップルの腕時計をしていたと伝えられています。

この腕時計はGPS機能、心拍数測定機能があるようで、データをネット回線を通じて取り出せるともされています。これまでのものはブルーツースかWifiでアイフォンと連動させる仕組みでしたが、最新型はセルラー通信が可能なものもあります。それであればペアを組んだアイファンから距離があっても腕時計からのデータを受信することができます。

この事件でとにかく決定的なことは、婚約者が領事館の前で待っていたことです。トルコが発表したCCTVの画像にも婚約者の姿が映っていますし、サウジ領事館の職員が婚約者にカショーギは領事館にはいないと告げたとの情報もあります。

トルコの警察は、ジャマル・カショーギがこの腕時計をつけてイスタンブール領事館に入ったことを確認しているとしています。そして、殺害時の録音をトルコは入手しているようです。録画もあるとされています。(これはアップルウォッチで技術的に可能なのか確認できていません)

さらににジャマル・カショーギが領事館内にいた時間に争うような物音と助けを求める叫び声を聴いた人がいるともされています。

婚約者が領事館の外でジャマル・カショーギが出てくるのを11時間も待ち続けました。次の画像に婚約者の姿が写っています。


トルコの当局は、早い段階からジャマル・カショーギが領事館内で殺害され、ばらばらにされたとの見解を示していましたが、アップルの腕時計のデータを取れれば、その推定は容易になります。

リヤドから2018/10/2に到着した15人のサウジ人の動きからも彼らが殺人を実行したことは疑いのないところです。ホテルにチェックインしながらその日のうちにトルコを立ちましたし、領事館に入るところが記録されています。

領事館から窓ガラスを不透明にした黒いベンツのバンが出て総領事の公邸に入っています。


ジャマル・カショーギの遺体が今どこにあるか、それだけがまだ把握されていませんが、トルコ側は、総領事公邸の庭ではないかと見ているようです。他の事実関係はほぼ解明されています。

トルコの警察か情報機関は、米国の情報機関かどこかが傍受したとされるジャマル・カショーギに対するサウジの謀議の情報でカショーギの行動を詳しく観察していたものとみられます。

トルコの当局が驚くほどに積極的に情報をリークしているほか、カタールのテレビ局アルジャジーラもこの事件を詳しく取り上げています。宿敵イランのFARSNEWSも詳しいです。RTは米国の動きを追っています。

イスタンブールで抗議行動が続き、国際的に事実解明を求める声が高まり、米国議会では上院議員22名がグローバル・マグニッツキー法の下での事実関係の調査と制裁の勧告に関する報告を行うようトランプに書簡を送りました。

この事件について、根拠のない話だと否定するだけだったサウジは、たまらずクラウンプリンスMBSの実弟である米国大使が本国に一時帰国しています。

当初本件について口数が少なく腰が引けている感のあったトランプも次第に事実解明に前向きにならざるを得なくなっています。ですが、トランプ自身、そして娘婿のクシュナー、そしてトランプ政権の高官の中にもサウジから金銭や便宜の提供を受けている者がいるとみられ、サウジに対してどんな姿勢を示すのか不透明です。

ボルトンとポンペオが別個にMBSに電話をしたとされていますし、トランプは米国はトルコ、サウジと接触していると述べています。そして、ジャマル・カショーギの殺害が確認されれば、サウジ対して罰としての制裁を加えると発言するに至りました。

サウジは、これに反発し、無実を主張するとともに脅しに屈せず行動で応える、つまり報復すると宣言しました。これはトランプの発言を念頭に置いたものです。もう開き直るしかないという追い詰められたサウジの状況を示しています。

また、独、仏、英の外相は事実関係の説明を求める書簡をサウジに送りました。

一時、絶体絶命のMBSを救うためサウジが身代わりの首謀者を立てるとの推測も出ています。宮廷アドバイザーのSaud al-Qahtaniの名が挙がっています。ですがこの話は進展していません。

トルコ側の意図的なリークでこれだけ事実関係が白日の下に曝されると、この事件をなかったことにはできませんし、サウジの現国王、クラウンプリンスそしてその一族の国際的評価、信用は地に墜ちます。

MBSに対する評価は芳しくないものも少なくありません。MBSはリヤドでクーデター騒ぎがあった際に父親とともに米軍基地に逃げ込んだとされていますが、その後しばらく公の場に姿を現さなくなりました。精神的な問題があったのではないかと見られています。今回も追い詰められて逆上し何をするかわからないと警戒する声も出ています。

エルドアンとサウジの国王が電話で話をしています。サウジの病弱とされる国王は息子の暴走の収拾策に頭を痛めているでしょう。首謀者はMBSとされていますが、身代わりを出すならサウジだけで決断すれば足ります。

日本の著名な投資家孫正義氏は、MBSと組んで投資ファンドを作りましたが、その行方も不透明になります。サウジの国営石油企業アラムコの株式市場上場の話は消えました。今月下旬にサウジで「砂漠のダボス会議」が予定されていますが、欧米のマスメディアの中には参加を取り止めるところも出ています。

まるでマフィアを彷彿とさせる残酷なジャマル・カショーギの殺害。ISISテロリストの残酷さと類似しているような気がするのは、ISISテロリストに対するサウジの深いかかわりを考えればなんら不思議ではないのかもしれません。

サウジは、911事件の賠償問題を突き付けられており、イエメン戦争での人道犯罪、カタールとの対立など負の遺産が増える一方です。

2018/10/14には、サウジの株式が大きく下落、10/15にはサウジのリアルが下落しました。

米国が見放せば、サウジは2週間で崩壊するとのトランプの発言は、現実味があります。サウジは、カネで米国をつなぎとめようにも財政は火の車です。

トランプは、ジャーナリストの暗殺事件よりも米国の巨額の対サウジ武器輸出の確保のほうが重要だとの立場を隠そうとしなくなっています。カナダも同じです。英、仏の指導者も同じはずですが、国内世論に押される形でサウジとのかかわり方に慎重な姿勢を見せています。

中東の国の中には、サウジがトランプにここまで侮辱されてもなにもしないことに驚く声も出ていましたが、制裁の威嚇には行動で対応すると述べ、けん制に出たことは、まさに殺害関与の事実を認めたことにつながります。

宿敵イランが公的な論評を加えたとの情報にはまだ接していません。サウジはイスラエルに助けを求めるのでしょうが、イスラエルもパレスチナに対する残虐行為で国際的な非難の的となっており、軽々には動けないでしょう。

泥沼にはまったサウジがもがく姿を周辺諸国は冷めた目でじっと見つめています。

日本で2018/10/16に日付が変わるころ、トルコ警察がサウジ領事館に入りました。

サウジ国王がサウジによる暗殺はないとトランプに強く否定。悪漢による殺人説が急浮上。カショーギは領事館を出た後、悪漢に捕らえられ、どこかに連れ去られた。行方は分からない。ということにするとしたら、邪魔なのは婚約者です。次は婚約者が失踪、あるいは不審死する恐れがあります。

トルコ政府は交渉でいかようにも変わるでしょう。

カショーギを誘拐してサウジに連れ帰る過程での尋問の行き過ぎで殺してしまったとの筋書きが浮上しています。国際世論の反応を見るためのリークです。これならば、政府により「計画された殺人」ではなく、実行行為に携わった者たちの「過失」だとなります。

これで王族、特にMBSは守れるかもしれません。ただ、カショーギの遺体を示す必要があります。公邸の庭から掘り出す?! 公邸に保管されていたことにする?

どんな話を組み立てるのかはわかりませんが、MBSの真の姿がどうかという点については拭いきれない汚点が残ります。そんな人間が王位に就く!! そんな式典は見るに耐えませんね。

FARSNEWS2018/10/11
Report: Khashoggi Dragged from Consulate Office, Killed, Dismembered
TEHRAN (FNA)- Journalist Jamal Khashoggi was dragged from the consul general's office inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last Tuesday before he was brutally murdered by two men who cut up his body, sources close to the investigation told Middle East Eye.

Turkish officials stated that they know when and where in the building the veteran Saudi journalist was killed and are considering whether to dig up the consul-general's garden to see whether his remains are buried there, according to MEE.

Khashoggi has been missing since last Tuesday when he entered the consulate to obtain paperwork so he could remarry, and has not been seen since.

Since Saturday, Turkish officials have maintained that he was assassinated inside the building, but have not provided evidence or spoken on the record. Meanwhile, Saudi officials have stressed that the 59-year-old left the consulate soon after he arrived and are concerned about his whereabouts.

“I would like to confirm that... Jamal is not at the consulate nor in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the consulate and the embassy are working to search for him,” the Saudi consul-general, Mohammad al-Otaibi, said on Saturday after the consulate was opened to Reuters journalists, adding that “we are worried about this case”.

But a Turkish source with direct knowledge of the investigation has given MEE a detailed account of what investigators say happened in the consulate last Tuesday.

"We know when Jamal was killed, in which room he was killed and where the body was taken to be dismembered. If the forensic team are allowed in, they know exactly where to go," he stated.

Khashoggi first went to the consulate on 28 September and met with a Saudi diplomat in an attempt to get the papers he needed. The Saudi diplomat passed him on to a member of Saudi intelligence who said the consulate would be unable to provide what he needed that day, but he could return the following week, the source said. Khashoggi left the building on Friday with the telephone number of the intelligence official.

On Tuesday morning, Khashoggi called and asked if he should still come to the consulate and was told that the papers were ready for him, according to the source. His appointment was for 1 pm.

Half an hour before then, during the lunch break held at the consulate, all local staff members left for their usual lunch break which lasts an hour. As they left, they were told to take the afternoon off because a high-level diplomatic meeting was planned for the afternoon in the consulate, the source revealed.

As a time-stamped photo first published by the Washington Post has shown, Khashoggi walked into the consulate less than an hour later at 1.14 pm.

He was greeted by an official, and led into the consul-general's room. Shortly afterwards, two men entered the room and dragged Khashoggi out of the office and into another room where they killed him, the source said, without elaborating how he was killed.

Khashoggi's body was then dragged into a third room and dismembered, he added.

A Saudi source told Reuters that British intelligence believed there had been an attempt to drug Khashoggi inside the consulate that culminated in an overdose.

He said the information came from a British intelligence source. Contacted by Reuters, British intelligence did not comment. Asked about this account, a Saudi official said that “this death is not true”.

There are around 22 cars which are registered to the consulate of which between three and four are of interest to the murder inquiry.

One of them left the consulate building at 3:15 pm and went several hundred metres to the nearby consul general's home, the source stressed.

MEE understands that the prosecutor general is now considering whether to dig up the consul general's garden to see whether Khashoggi's remains are buried there.

A separate Turkish source told MEE that the consul general has not left his house for the past three days and has cancelled all of his appointments.

This source also stated that the Turkish police want to search the residence and also take all the cars which are registered to the consulate to a secure location to examine them, but the Saudis have not allowed this.

A source also told MEE the Saudis took all the hard drives from the security camera room at the consulate with them when they left the building.

The Saudis on Tuesday rescinded an offer they made originally to allow Turkish forensic experts onto the premises. Their offer was withdrawn after Turkish media outlets published a list of 15 Saudis who arrived in Istanbul on the same day Khashoggi disappeared.

The source who outlined the account of how Khashoggi was killed said that police investigators were confident they already had enough forensic evidence from searches of the sewage network connected to the building.

A second Turkish source with knowledge of the investigation told MEE that the Turks had video and audio evidence of the killing. However, they have not revealed how they obtained this evidence.

But particular attention is being paid to the Apple watch that Khashoggi was wearing when he entered the building. This is synced electronically to the iPhone that he gave his fiance before entering the building.

MEE has sought comment from the Saudi embassies in the UK and US.

straitstimesOct 7, 2018, 3:24 am SGT
Saudi Arabia opens up consulate after journalist vanishes

CNN2018/10/13
Istanbul (CNN)Missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi may have recorded his own death, a Turkish newspaper reported Saturday morning.
Khashoggi turned on the recording function of his Apple Watch before walking into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2, according to Sabah newspaper.

The moments of his "interrogation, torture and killing were audio recorded and sent to both his phone and to iCloud," the pro-government, privately owned newspaper paper reported. The Turkish newspaper said conversations of the men involved in the reported assassination were recorded.

Security forces leading the investigation found the audio file inside the phone Khashoggi left with his fiancé, according to Sabah.

Upon noticing the watch, Sabah reports, Khashoggi's assailants tried to unlock the Apple Watch with multiple password attempts, ultimately using Khashoggi's fingerprint to unlock the smart watch. They were successful in deleting only some of the files, Sabah reported.

However, on its website, Apple does not list fingerprint verification as one of the Apple Watch's capabilities. A representative from the company confirmed to CNN the watches do not have the feature.

It was not immediately clear whether it would have been technically feasible for Khashoggi's Apple Watch to transfer audio to his phone, which he had given to his fiancée before entering the consulate.

CNN cannot independently verify the Sabah report and is seeking comment from both Saudi and Turkish officials.
CNN intelligence and security analyst Robert Baer cast doubt on the claim, saying it was too far for a Bluetooth connection and that Khashoggi was unlikely to have anticipated transmitting a recording in advance. "I think what's happened, clearly, is the Turks have the Saudi consulate wired, they have transmitters," he told CNN's Anderson Cooper.

"The Turks don't trust any diplomats and they have been into most embassies and most consulates in Turkey and they listen to what's going on -- and if indeed there are tapes proving that he was murdered, I think that's probably how they know. But the Turks are very reluctant to admit that."

Saudi Arabia firmly denies any involvement in his disappearance and says he left the consulate that afternoon. His fiancée, Hatice Cengiz, who was waiting outside the consulate, says she did not see him re-emerge. Turkey has called on Saudi officials to provide evidence that he left the consulate, as they claim.

2018年10月13日
アイホォンの次はアップルの腕時計

2018年10月13日
ジャマル・カショーギの失踪に世界的な注目が集まる 4

2018年10月13日
ジャマル・カショーギの失踪よりもサウジとの武器取引に関心を示すトランプ

2018年10月13日
さあ、ソフトバンクグループ孫正義氏はどう動く


2018年10月12日
サウジの使節団がトルコ入り

2018年10月12日
Khashoggiの事件に米国が関与?

2018年10月11日
Khashoggi Murdered by Ex-Spokesman of Saudi-Led Coalition in War on Yemen

2018年10月11日
ジャマル・カショーギの失踪に世界的な注目が集まる 3

2018年10月11日
ジャマル・カショーギの失踪に世界的な注目が集まる 2

2018年10月11日
ジャマル・カショーギの失踪に世界的な注目が集まる

2018年10月09日
ジャマル・カショーギの失踪が世界的な「探偵小説」に

2018年10月09日
サウジの反体制ライターがイスタンブールの領事館で殺害された
posted by ZUKUNASHI at 14:10| Comment(1) | 国際・政治

Mohammed bin Salman: The dark side of Saudi Arabia's crown prince

aljazeera 2018/10/16
Mohammed bin Salman: The dark side of Saudi Arabia's crown prince

Touted as Saudi Arabia's progressive reformer, Mohammed bin Salman has an ominous human rights record.

The disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi has put the spotlight on Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, or MBS.

Since he outmaneuvered his rivals to become Saudi Arabia's de-facto leader in 2015, the 33-year-old has received favourable coverage in international media, with a multitude of reports focused on his economic and social reforms in the conservative kingdom.

In March, he toured the United States amid a swirl of publicity, gracing the covers of Time Magazine, sitting down for interviews with CBS' 60 Minutes and Bloomberg.
READ MORE
Jamal Khashoggi case: All the latest updates

However, the Khashoggi case has shifted the focus towards the darker side of Salman's record, one that includes the imprisonment of critics and human rights activists, thousands of civilian deaths in Yemen and a rapid rise of the number of executions since his ascent to power.

The war in Yemen
Detaining the leader of Lebanon
Imprisoning woman human rights activists
Worsening ties with Canada
Purging political rivals
Orchestrating the GCC crisis
Rising number of exections
The disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi
Failing to reform the economy

The aerial destruction of Yemen

In 2015, Saudi Arabia intervened in the civil war in neighbouring Yemen, launching an aerial campaign targeting the Houthi rebels, who were quickly gaining territory.

With logistical support from the US, the Saudi-UAE alliance have now carried out more than 16,000 raids on Houthi-held areas in an attempt to reverse their gains.

Human rights organisations have accused the Saudi-led coalition forces of indiscriminately bombing civilians and hospitals, schools and other infrastructure.

Besides a prolonged air campaign, Saudi Arabia and the UAE have also blockaded the strategic port of Hodeidah, which they see as the main entry point of weapons for the Houthis, which are backed by Iran, Saudi Arabia's rival.

As a result of that blockade, crucial humanitarian aid has not been able to reach Yemen.

Since 2015, at least 10,000 people have been killed in the Yemen war, many thousands more have died from famine resulting from the war and millions of people have been displaced.

Speaking to Time in April 2018, MBS defended the Saudi-led intervention in Yemen, saying: "In any military operation mistakes happen... Of course any mistakes made by Saudi Arabia or the coalition are unintended mistakes.

"We don't need to have a new Hezbollah in the Arabian peninsula. This is a red line not only for Saudi Arabia but for the whole world."
Forcing the resignation of Lebanon's PM

What was supposed to be a regular visit to Saudi Arabia turned into a stunning episode of detainment by Saudi security forces for Saad Hariri, former Prime Minister of Lebanon.

When Hariri travelled to the Saudi capital in November 2017, his phone was confiscated on arrival, and a day later he resigned his post live on a Saudi-owned television channel.

It transpired Hariri was summoned to meet both King Salman and Crown Prince MBS a day after his arrival, but was eventually presented with his resignation speech to read on television, sources told Reuters news agency shortly after the event.

The move sparked outrage in Lebanon over what was publicly perceived as the abduction of a sovereign state's prime minister by another country.

Saudi-Lebanese relations were strained, as President Michel Aoun refused to accept the resignation and called on authorities in Riyadh to release his country's "detained" prime minister.

The prime minister, for his part, accused Iran and Hezbollah of destabilising Lebanon and remained in the Saudi capital for two weeks.

Hariri, 47, ultimately returned to Beirut weeks later after French President Emmanuel Macron's successful mediation efforts, and withdrew his resignation.

Despite denying all allegations of forcing Hariri to resign or holding him captive in the country, MBS was seen as one of the key players behind the bizarre episode.
Imprisoning women's rights activists

Earlier this year, Saudi Arabia allowed women to drive, a move seen by many as a progressive step for women's rights in the kingdom.

MBS was generally seen as the main force behind the decision, but it was a group of Saudi human rights activists who first fought for the right to drive back in the 1990s and continued to publicly push for the right since then.

Several activists, mostly women but also several men, were arrested earlier this year just weeks before the ban was officially lifted.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) criticised the arrests, saying it was an attempt by MBS to show he would not accept criticism of his rule.

"Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman's 'reform campaign' has been a frenzy of fear for genuine Saudi reformers who dare to advocate publicly for human rights or women’s empowerment," Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch, said in a statement at the time.

"The message is clear that anyone expressing skepticism about the crown prince's rights agenda faces time in jail."

The activists are currently still in prison, together with many other human rights activists arrested on other charges.

Speaking to Bloomberg earlier this month, bin Salman said the arrests were "not about women asking for the right to drive .... It's nothing at all to do with that."

He said some of those arrested had connections with foreign intelligence agencies and had tried to harm Saudi Arabia. "Qatar is one of those countries that recruited some of those people. And some agencies indirectly working with Iran. Those are the two main countries that are really recruiting these people."

"I believe there will be a formal case against them based under Saudi law," MBS added.
The Canadian kerfuffle

Following the arrest and imprisonment of several domestic women's rights activists, Saudi Arabia got into a diplomatic spat with Canada in August.

After Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called for the release of the activists and a general improvement of human rights in Saudi Arabia, the kingdom responded by expelling the Canadian ambassador from Riyadh, freezing trade with the Northern American country and ordering all Saudi students based in Canada to return home.

"We don't want to be a political football in Canada's domestic politics. Find another ball to play with," Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York City in reaction to the measures.

"It's very easy to fix. Apologise and say you made a mistake."

Responding to Saudi Arabia's actions, Canada's Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said Ottawa would not be changing its position.

"Canada will always stand up for human rights... We feel a particular obligation to women who are fighting for their rights around the world," she said. "And we feel a particular obligation to people who have a personal connection to Canada."

In November, German former Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel criticised Saudi Arabia for what it called "adventurism" in the Middle East and meddling in Lebanon's internal politics by detaining Hariri during his visit to Riyadh.

Those comments started a ten month long diplomatic row between the two countries, leading to Saudi's withdrawal of its ambassador from Berlin and denying accreditation to Germany's ambassador in Riyadh.

In April, Germany also introduced draft legislation aimed to prevent weapons exports and all other related goods and services to countries that may use them for human rights abuses, mostly focusing on Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates for their involvement in the war in Yemen.

The diplomatic spat ended last month at the United Nations General Assembly in New York, when Germany's new Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said the country's had decided to put their dispute to rest.

"In recent months, our relations have witnessed a misunderstanding which stands in sharp contrast to our otherwise strong and strategic ties with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and we sincerely regret this," Maas said.
The Ritz-Carlton purge

Since he became crown prince, MBS has not only cracked down on human rights activists, but also on political rivals.

In 2017, Saudi security forces arrested several hundred of the richest people in the country, allegedly in an attempt to combat corruption among the higher echelons of the Saudi bureaucracy.

Those arrested were locked up for weeks in the luxurious Ritz-Carlton hotel in Riyadh, where some were reportedly physically mistreated.
Saudi Arabia's crackdown

A report by the New York Times said 17 of the detainees required hospital treatment after physical abuse, including one who later died in custody.

According to experts, MBS used the purge to remove people that could potentially pose a political threat to the crown prince.

"If your goal really is anti-corruption, then you bring some cases. You don't just arrest a bunch of really high-ranking people and emphasise that the rule of law is not really what guides your actions," Greg Gause, a Gulf expert at Texas A&M University, told Al Jazeera at the time.

Mahjoob Zweiri, a professor of contemporary Arab politics at Qatar University, said that the purge was part of MBS' plan to consolidate economic, as well as political power in Saudi Arabia.

"That required destroying other economic empires in Saudi Arabia," he told Al Jazeera, referring to Saudi Arabia seizing more than $100bn in anti-corruption settlements from those arrested.

Following the allegations of abuse, HRW called on Saudi Arabia to hold those responsible to account.

"The alleged mistreatment at the Ritz Carlton is a serious blow to [Saudi crown prince] Mohammad bin Salman's claims to be a modernising reformist," said Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch.

"While MBS jaunts across Western capitals to gin up foreign investments, investors should think twice the Saudis' cavalier dismissal of the rule of law and fundamental rights."

Speaking in November 2017 after the purge, Saudi King Salman said it was an attempt to tackle corruption and came in response to "exploitation by some of the weak souls who have put their own interests above the public interest, in order to, illicitly, accrue money".
The man behind the GCC crisis

On June 5 2017, four countries cut diplomatic ties with Qatar and imposed a diplomatic and trade blockade on their Gulf neighbour.

Saudi Arabia closed its land border with Qatar, effectively turning its neighbour into an island only reachable by air and sea.

The move to cut ties with Qatar was mainly driven by MBS and the UAE Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan (MBZ), and which seems to have achieved nothing significant other than dividing the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

According to a report from The Intercept, the original blockade plan included a military aspect as well, with Saudi and UAE forces invading Qatar.

The plot involved Saudi ground troops crossing the land border into Qatar, and with military support from the UAE, advancing 100km inland and seizing the Qatari capital, Doha.

Based on information it said it received from a current member of the US intelligence community and two former State Department officials, The Intercept said the coup plot, which was largely devised by Saudi Arabia and the UAE's crown princes, "was likely some weeks away from being implemented".

Pressure from former US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson caused the Saudi crown prince to back down, who was concerned that the invasion would damage Saudi Arabia's long-term relationship with the US.

More than a year later, the blockade against Qatar still stands, with Qatar refusing to give in to the demands made by Saudi Arabia and its three allies.
Executions on the rise

Over the last couple of years, MBS has instituted several societal reforms in Saudi Arabia, including opening the country's first movie theatres and allowing music concerts to take place, moves hailed by many as progression towards a more open society.

During the same period, the number of executions in the kingdom has steeply increased.

Saudi Arabia, the only country in the world that still employs beheading as a form of execution, has been in the five top countries for the number of executions carried out for over a decade.

According to human rights organisations Reprieve and Amnesty International, the number of executions has seen a sharp increase in recent years.

"In the eight months after he was appointed crown prince, 133 people were executed," Reprieve said in March this year.

"Mohammed bin Salman has overseen the execution of 16 people on average per month, every month, since his appointment. If this rate continues, 2018 could see 200 executions, the highest number of executions ever recorded in Saudi Arabia in one year," the organisation added.

Amnesty International has also condemned Saudi Arabia's prominent use of the death penalty, adding the country uses the punishment as a way of stifling criticism from a Shia minority in the country.

"These brutal executions are the latest act in the Saudi Arabian authorities’ ongoing persecution of the Shi'a minority. The death penalty is being deployed as a political weapon to punish them for daring to protest against their treatment and to cow others into silence," Amnesty said last year.

The organisation also criticised MBS personally, saying the crown prince should invest in human rights, not PR for trips abroad.

"If you didn't know better, you would think Saudi Arabia is on a path to major reform. However, in the months since the crown prince's appointment, we have seen little reason to believe that his overtures are anything more than a slick PR exercise," Amnesty said earlier this year.

"In fact, Saudi Arabia retains an atrocious human rights record and the situation has only deteriorated since the Crown Prince was appointed as official heir to the throne in June 2017."

When pressed on a spate of executions in the kingdom in a 2016 interview with the Economist, bin Salman stressed that all of those executed had been through three layers of the Saudi judicial system.

"They are reviewing a crime, and a procedure, and a trial, and a sentence, and carrying out the sentence," he said.
The disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi

On October 2, Saudi journalist and MBS critic Jamal Khashoggi entered Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul to obtain a document certifying his divorce from his ex-wife.

He has not been seen since.

Turkish authorities believe Khashoggi was killed inside the mission by a Saudi state hit-squad. Saudi officials have denied the allegations, insisting Khashoggi left the building shortly after he entered.

Since then, a diplomatic game of chess has been played by Saudi Arabia, Turkey and many other international players.

The US, UK, Germany and several other countries have all demanded a thorough investigation into Khashoggi's disappearance, threatening Saudi with sanctions if the kingdom indeed is proven responsible for the disappearance.

Khashoggi, once an adviser to members of the royal family, fell out of favour for his criticism of bin Salman's reform programme.

"As we speak today, there are Saudi intellectuals and journalists jailed," Kashoggi told Al Jazeera in an interview in March.

"Now nobody will dare to speak and criticise the reform ... It would be much better for him to allow a breathing space for critics, for Saudi intellectuals, Saudi writers, Saudi media to debate."

According to the Washington Post - for whom Khashoggi wrote columns - US intelligence had intercepted communications of Saudi officials planning to abduct him.
Saudi Arabia's MBS: 'Gaddafi on steroids'?
posted by ZUKUNASHI at 11:47| Comment(0) | 国際・政治

Jamal Khashoggi Case: Cleaning Teams at Saudi Consulate Before Turkish Officials Start Searching Building

FARSNEWS2018/10/15
Jamal Khashoggi Case: Cleaning Teams at Saudi Consulate Before Turkish Officials Start Searching Building
TEHRAN (FNA)- A team of cleaners entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Monday, just hours before Turkish officials will be escorted around by Saudis in a joint inspection over the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The inspection was agreed after a Saudi delegation of a dozen officials arrived in Turkey, while Saudi King Salman and Turkish President Recep Erdogan spoke on the phone on Sunday.

Turkish investigators will search the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Monday afternoon, according to Ankara.

FARSNEWS2018/10/15
Trump to Send Pompeo to Meet Saudi King over Khashoggi Case
TEHRAN (FNA)- US President Donald Trump said Monday he's sending Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to meet with King Salman of Saudi Arabia after Riyadh denied knowing about the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

"Just spoke to the King of Saudi Arabia who denies any knowledge of whatever may have happened 'to our Saudi Arabian citizen,'" Trump wrote in a tweet, referring to Khashoggi without using his name, World News reported.

"He said that they are working closely with Turkey to find answer. I am immediately sending our Secretary of State to meet with King!" Trump added.

Trump is facing hard pressure to investigate the disappearance of the WaPo writer, which could lead to sanctions against Saudi Arabia within 120 days, after receiving a letter from a bipartisan group of senators.

Britain, France and Germany have also called on Saudi Arabia to provide a “detailed” response about the mysterious disappearance of the anti-Riyadh journalist.

FARSNEWS2018/10/15
US President Says 'Rogue Killers' Might Have Killed Saudi Journalist
TEHRAN (FNA)- US President Donald Trump stated that he believes it is possible that “rogue killers” could be responsible for the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Speaking to journalists outside the White House on Monday about Khashoggi’s disappearance, Trump said “it sounded to me like maybe these could have been rogue killers. Who knows?”, Middle East News reported.

Offering the rogue killer theory, Trump cited King Salman of Saudi Arabia’s “firm” denial that Riyadh had anything to do with the situation − despite the fact that Ankara claims to possess evidence proving the journalist was murdered inside the Saudi consulate in Turkey.

“[King Salman’s] denial to me could not have been stronger,” Trump told reporters.
 
Earlier, Trump announced that he was sending Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to Riyadh and “other places if necessary” to figure out what has happened to Khashoggi.

RT2018/10/15
Rogue killers or state murder? Riyadh gets benefit of doubt from Trump where Russia doesn’t
Washington has reacted with uncharacteristic calm following the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Instead of slapping Riyadh with sanctions and tearing up deals, Trump has refused to pin the blame on anyone.

Turkey has flatly accused Saudi Arabia of murdering and dismembering Khashoggi when he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2 to obtain marriage documents. That was the last time the dissident journalist was seen − and Ankara says it has audio and video proof that he was murdered inside the building.

Trump on the other hand has been more circumspect, even suggesting that perhaps “rogue killers” were responsible for the suspected murder − a theory he proffered to journalists at the White House shortly after a phone call with Saudi Arabia’s King Salman.

But the mostly low-key reaction from the Washington to the disappearance provides a stark contrast to how both Trump and his predecessors have dealt with unproven accusations made against other countries − most notably Russia.

When ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter were poisoned in Salisbury in March, it took nothing more than a swift declaration (sans evidence) from British intelligence agencies before sanctions had been slapped on Moscow.

Within days of the poisoning, British Prime Minister Theresa May had expelled 23 Russian diplomats from the country and requested that Britain’s allies do the same. The US along with a slew of European countries were happy to oblige, all announcing they too would kick Russian diplomats out of the country as punishment for the poisoning of the Skripals − for which there was no actual solid evidence presented.

READ MORE: Telegraph defence editor savaged by Owen Jones over Saudi-links, deletes Twitter account

Soon, the media too lost all interest in searching for answers on the Skripal case − and journalists probing further were quickly subjected to public ridicule for daring to question the official government narrative.

While it would be nice to think that Trump has suddenly realized the value of calmly awaiting information and assessing evidence, the reality unfortunately is quite different.

Trump has promised “severe punishment” will be handed out to Riyadh if it turns out that the country is responsible for the alleged killing of the journalist − but that harsh comment has been tempered by other less angry statements which indicate that the US president is not quite serious about doling out any kind of consequences. After all, there are other things on Trump’s mind, far more important than the fate of one journalist.

Referring to a $110 billion weapons deal previously signed by Riyadh and Washington and noting that Khashoggi was not a US citizen, Trump told journalists last week that he didn’t really want to stop “massive amounts of money” from being poured into the US from Saudi Arabia. “It would not be acceptable to me,” Trump said.

In other words, if Saudi Arabia really did send a team to torture, kill and dismember Khashoggi − a journalist who wrote for the Washington Post − weapons sales are still more important. Even the sale of weapons which are being used by Riyadh to continually slaughter civilians in Yemen during a war that threatens to create the worst famine in 100 years, according to the UN.

So much for the notion that the US really cares about standing up for human rights around the world. As is so often the case, when human rights conflict with war and money, war and money win − and not just under Trump, as some journalists have been quick to suggest.

With Trump now appearing to buy into theories about “rogue killers” being responsible, even while Ankara claims it possesses strong evidence of Riyadh’s guilt, it seems certain that anyone expecting a strong US response to Khashoggi’s disappearance would be well advised to lower their expectations now.
posted by ZUKUNASHI at 10:26| Comment(0) | 国際・政治

カショーギ殺人 尋問の行き過ぎ説が浮上

RT2018/10/15
CNN claims Saudi government to admit journalist killed in ‘interrogation gone wrong’
A report being prepared by the Saudi government will say that journalist Jamal Khashoggi died as a result of interrogation gone wrong, in course of his abduction from Turkey, CNN reported citing anonymous sources.

Khashoggi, a Saudi national living in Turkey and writing for the Washington Post, was last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Ankara has accused the authorities in Riyadh of murdering the journalist and smuggling his body out of the consulate in pieces. Saudi Arabia has denied the charges as “baseless.”

According to CNN, however, a still-unpublished government report will blame Khashoggi’s death on an attempted abduction and botched questioning, “carried out without clearance and transparency” and say that those involved will be held responsible. This is based on two anonymous sources that reportedly spoke to CNN’s correspondents, and has not been independently confirmed.

“It sounded to me like maybe these could have been rogue killers. Who knows?” US President Donald Trump said on Monday, after talking to Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and dispatching Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to Riyadh.

Salman “told me in a very firm way that they had no knowledge of it,” Trump told reporters.

The US Senate has already asked Trump to open a Global Magnitsky Act investigation into Khashoggi’s disappearance, which would result in sanctions against persons or governments found responsible. Trump said there would be “severe punishment” for the affair, which he described as “really terrible and disgusting.”

The CNN report comes as a team of investigators arrived at the consulate in Istanbul on Monday. While the details of the team’s composition remain unknown, it presumably consists of Saudi and Turkish officials, who arrived in unmarked police vehicles.

The New York Times cited an anonymous source “familiar with Saudi plans,” who said that Riyadh was preparing a “narrative” that an intelligence official was “tragically incompetent” in carrying out the order for Khashoggi’s interrogation and rendition to Saudi Arabia. The story is intended to deflect the blame from Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the Times said.
posted by ZUKUNASHI at 09:59| Comment(0) | 国際・政治

2018年10月15日

サウジ株式、通貨リアルが下落 原油は上昇

FARSNEWS2018/10/15
Saudi Riyal at Weakest Since Mid-2017 over Missing Journalist Case, Oil Could Skyrocket
TEHRAN (FNA)- Saudi Arabia's riyal was quoted at 3.7514 to the US dollar in the market early on Monday, its weakest rate since June 2017, Refinitiv data showed.

Saudi financial markets have come under pressure in the last few days as US President Donald Trump has threatened to punish Riyadh if it turns out that journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

Although the riyal's move was unusual, it was smaller than some bouts of instability in recent years, including in November 2015, when oil prices were plunging, the riyal dropped as low as 3.7598.

As international pressure is mounting on Saudi rulers by various governments and rights group over disappearance of the journalist, analysts say the sell-off on Riyadh's Tadawul stock exchange shows investors are uneasy.

Shares in Saudi Arabia plunged as the fallout over the disappearance of Khashoggi got worse over the weekend. The main stock market index in Riyadh fell as much as 7% --- biggest drop since December 2014 --- on Sunday and billions of dollars were wiped off the value of leading Saudi companies. The index recovered some ground later to close 3.5% down.

According to a United Nations report earlier this year, direct foreign investment in Saudi Arabia fell to $1.4 billion in 2017, the lowest level in 14 years.

Analysts also warn that there could be fallout for global oil markets, as Riyadh pushes back against international pressure that it played a role in the disappearance of the WaPo writer

They believe that oil could indeed by used as a tool of retaliation by Saudis, stating that if the oil price continues to react in an upward direction, it affects many markets, also many emerging markets in Asia, which are net importers of oil.

Oil prices rose on Sunday afternoon during Asian trade, with Brent crude jumping 1.29 percent to $81.47 per barrel, and US crude futures rising 1.14 percent to $72.15 a barrel.

The US administration is seeking to cut Tehran's oil exports to zero as Washington introduces new sanctions on the nation after unilaterally abandoning the historic 2015 Iran Joint Cooperative Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear deal signed by Russia, China, Iran and several European states. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) agreed to boost oil output by about one million barrels a day − a move strongly opposed by Iran.

Washington's unilateral oil sanctions of Tehran have led to a sharp drop in Iran's crude oil exports and to a price hike in the oil market. Saudi Arabia has also insisted that the kingdom is replacing lost Iranian oil with its own output. But, Iran dismissed claims by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman that Riyadh was making up for the loss of Tehran's oil supplies as "nonsense".

"Bin Salman's remarks can only satisfy Trump. No one else will believe him. Iran's oil cannot be replaced by Saudi Arabia," Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said early October, adding that "any country that makes such claims… just wants to display its support to the US sanctions against Iran".

Also, several US media organisations and business leaders have pulled out a major Saudi investment conference over the disappearance and suspected murder of Khashoggi, as global pressure for answers about the whereabouts of the prominent journalist mounts on the kingdom.

The United Kingdom, France and Germany have also called on Saudi Arabia and Turkey to mount a "credible investigation" into the disappearance of Khashoggi, adding they were treating the case with "utmost seriousness".
posted by ZUKUNASHI at 22:10| Comment(0) | 国際・政治

Saudi Dissident Believes Riyadh Tapped Calls with

FARSNEWS2018/10/15
Saudi Dissident Believes Riyadh Tapped Calls with Khashoggi
TEHRAN (FNA)- A Saudi dissident in Canada believes the kingdom hacked his phone and listened to calls he had with Jamal Khashoggi prior to the journalist's disappearance.

"For sure, they listened to the conversation between me and Jamal and other activists, in Canada, in the [United] States, in Turkey, in Saudi Arabia," Omar Abdulaziz said in an interview with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

A report published recently by the University of Toronto's Citizen Lab concluded that Saudi authorities were "very likely" responsible for hacking his phone with powerful spyware sold only to governments.

Abdulaziz said he was working on several projects with Khashoggi in recent months, including a campaign to counter Riyadh's pro-government propaganda on social media.

Khashoggi "promised me to sponsor the project and I guess they could listen in to those conversations", he stated, adding that "his voice was a headache for the Saudi government".

Khashoggi entered Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul on October 2 to obtain a document certifying he divorced his ex-wife. He has not been seen since.

Turkish sources have told media outlets they believe the Saudi writer and critic was killed inside the consulate in what they describe as "premeditated murder". Saudi officials have countered that claim, insisting Khashoggi left the building before vanishing.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and King Salman of Saudi Arabia spoke by telephone and discussed the investigation into the disappearance of Khashoggi, according to Turkish presidential sources.

They said the leaders stressed the importance of their two countries creating a joint working group as part of the investigation. The king thanked Erdogan for welcoming the Saudi proposal for the joint group and said no one could undermine their relationship.

The United Kingdom, France and Germany have also called on Saudi Arabia and Turkey to mount a "credible investigation" into the disappearance of Khashoggi, adding they were treating the case with "utmost seriousness".

posted by ZUKUNASHI at 21:55| Comment(0) | 国際・政治

米国が制裁をすればサウジはイランと友人になり元で石油を取引しロシア軍を招く!

RT2018/10/15
Oil priced $400 in yuan, Russian military base – Saudi insider says kingdom mulls 30 anti-US moves
If the US imposes sanctions on Saudi Arabia, it will “stab its own economy to death” the head of Al Arabiya said. Riyadh may become friends with Iran, trade its oil in yuan and invite the Russian military.

The Saudis may make a geostrategic turn away from the US and towards its rival: China, Russia and Iran, Aldakhil added. “No one can deny that repercussions of these sanctions will include a Russian military base in Tabuk,” he said, referring to Saudi Arabia’s northwestern province located in a strategically valuable place near the Red Sea with its trade routes as well as Israel and Jordan.

As part of its possible rapprochement with Iran, Saudi Arabia would see “Hamas and Hezbollah have turned from enemies into friends” while at the same time stop exchanging intelligence with the US and its allies. At the moment information from the Saudis is contributing to the “protection of millions of Westerners,” he stressed.

Of course Saudi Arabia will no longer buy weapons from US manufacturers if sanctions are given the green light, Aldakhil predicted, adding that this would reduce foreign sales of US defense contractors by two thirds. American firms will also be barred from the Saudi markets, he added.

Saudi officials said they may retaliate against the US, if Washington delivers on a threat to impose sanctions over the disappearance of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. Turki Aldakhil, the General Manager of the Saudi international news network Al Arabiya, said Riyadh was considering some 30 moves that it may take in response to possible sanctions, and many of those he mentions seem pretty harsh.

In an op-ed published on Sunday, the insider said Saudi influence on the oil market alone puts it into position to badly hurt American interests. “If the price of oil reaching $80 angered President Trump, no one should rule out the price jumping to $100, or $200, or even double that figure,” he wrote, adding that Riyadh may start pricing its crude in Chinese yuan rather than US dollar, dealing a blow to its status as a world reserve currency.

“These are simple procedures that are part of over 30 others that Riyadh will implement directly, without flinching an eye if sanctions are imposed on it, according to Saudi sources who are close to the decision-makers,” the report said.

Saudi Arabia came under fire after Turkish officials accused it of murdering Khashoggi, a self-exiled critic of the current Saudi leadership, during a visit to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Riyadh is denying the allegations, but has so far claimed to provide any evidence of the journalist freely leaving the diplomatic mission. US President Donald Trump said the Saudis would face “severe punishment” if the alleged crime is confirmed, but indicated his reluctance to act due to multi-billion arms deals with the kingdom.
posted by ZUKUNASHI at 21:05| Comment(0) | 国際・政治

サウジが制裁措置には反撃すると開き直る

RT2018/10/15
Riyadh threatens retaliation for 'actions' against it over missing journalist
Saudi Arabia has rejected any threats against it over the disappearance of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, once again declaring its innocence and saying it will respond to any actions with “greater actions.”

“The Kingdom affirms its total rejection of any threats and attempts to undermine it, whether by threatening to impose economic sanctions, using political pressures, or repeating false accusations,” the official Saudi Press Agency quoted an unnamed government source as saying.

“The Kingdom also affirms that if it receives any action, it will respond with greater action, and that the Kingdom's economy has an influential and vital role in the global economy,” the source added.

Sunday’s comments come just two days after US President Donald Trump warned that Riyadh would face “severe punishment” if it was found guilty of ordering the death of Khashoggi. He noted, however, that he would be unlikely to cancel the major arms deal between the two countries, stating that there would be “other ways of punishing” the government. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also stated that his country will be holding onto its $15 billion arms deal with Riyadh, despite the concerns surrounding Khashoggi.

However, Senator Marco Rubio (R-Florida) says the US must take action against Saudi Arabia - including potentially regarding arms sales - if the allegations are proven true. Otherwise, the US risks losing credibility when it comes to human rights, he told CBS' Face the Nation on Sunday. His comments come after a bipartisan group of senators also proposed imposing sanctions on Riyadh over the matter. Trump's words led to a plunge of Saudi Arabia's stock market, in a possible foreshadowing of what could take place if countries take action against Riyadh in the form of sanctions.

Khashoggi, a critic of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the Saudi royal family, was last seen on October 2 when he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to get documents for his forthcoming marriage.

Turkey believes he was murdered inside the building by a 15-person “assassination squad,” with the government saying it has video and audio evidence proving he was killed at the consulate. However, it has not publicly presented that information.

The Turkish Daily Sabah newspaper reported on Saturday that a government investigation into the journalist's disappearance revealed that recordings made on his Apple Watch indicate that he was tortured and killed. The paper cited “reliable sources in a special intelligence department.” It noted that the Apple Watch was synced with Khashoggi's iPhone, which his fiancée was holding outside the consulate.

The paper further elaborated by claiming that Saudi intelligence agents had realized after Khashoggi died that the watch was recording, prompting them to use his fingerprint to unlock it. They reportedly deleted some files, but not all of them.

In a joint statement on Sunday, the foreign ministers of Britain, France, and Germany said they were treating the matter with the “utmost seriousness” and called for a “credible investigation” into the journalist's disappearance, adding that anyone who bears responsibility should be held to account.

Khashoggi's disappearance has already led to many media organizations withdrawing from an upcoming high-profile investment conference in Riyadh, including CNN, CNBC, The New York Times, and The Financial Times. Uber's CEO has also backed out, while billionaire Richard Branson has suspended talks with Riyadh regarding a planned $1 billion investment into his space ventures.

Meanwhile, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow told ABC News on Sunday that US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is “intending to go” to the conference at the moment, but “will make up his mind as the week progresses and as new information surfaces.”


FATSNEWS2018/10/14
Riyadh Vows Response to Any Sanctions over Saudi Journalist's Disappearance
TEHRAN (FNA)- Saudi Arabia rejected "threats" after US President Donald Trump's comments on Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi who went missing in Turkey in early October.

Saudi Arabia has rejected "any attempts to undermine it whether through threats to impose economic sanctions or the use of political pressure", an official source was quoted by the country's state-run news agency SPA as saying.

"The kingdom also affirms that it will respond to any action with a bigger one," the source pointed out.

Riyadh also pledged to respond to any steps taken against it amid mounting concern over writer's disappearance.

It also referred to the Saudi economy which the source stated that "has vital and influential roles for the global economy".

In Saturday's interview with CBS, Trump pledged "to get to the bottom" of the disappearance of Khashoggi.

The American leader threatened to impose "severe punishment" on Saudi Arabia if it turns out that Riyadh is behind the disappearance of Khashoggi

At the same time, he emphasized that Riyadh has been "vehemently denying" the allegations of its involvement in the Khashoggi case.

Trump also made it clear that he does not want to hurt US jobs by stopping military sales to Saudi Arabia over the Khashoggi case.

Shortly after trading kicked off on Sunday, Saudi stocks plunged by at least seven percent, in what became the biggest drop since 2014 which comes amid an ever-increasing pressure on Riyadh over the situation around the missing Saudi journalist.

Earlier, several US companies and business leaders pulled out of an upcoming The Future Investment Initiative conference in Saudi Arabia as questions mount over the disappearance of the Saudi journalist. In addition, Bloomberg, the New York Times, the Financial Times, CNN and CNBC have all cut their ties with the conference.
posted by ZUKUNASHI at 17:10| Comment(0) | 国際・政治

さあ、ソフトバンクグループ孫正義氏はどう動く

RT2018/10/12
Khashoggi case causes media exodus from major Saudi investment conference as CNN, CNBC, FT quit

A number of media outlets, including CNN, CNBC and the Financial Times, have announced they will not be participating in a high-profile investment conference in Saudi Arabia over the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

CNN, CNBC, and the FT all stated on Friday that they would not be attending the upcoming Future Investment Initiative (FII) in Riyadh, which has been dubbed “Davos in the Desert” in reference to the annual World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland.

Some reports have claimed that Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist, was abducted and murdered after entering the Saudi consulate in Turkey.

“CNBC will no longer participate in the FII in Riyadh due to the continuing questions surrounding the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi,” the network said in a tweet.

Meanwhile, the chief communications and marketing officer at the Financial Times, Finola McDonnell, also wrote on Twitter that the British newspaper would not be partnering with the conference while Khashoggi's disappearance remains “unexplained.”

CNN also confirmed it was pulling out, with a spokesperson saying in a statement that the media outlet “has withdrawn its participation in the Saudi Future Investment initiative Conference.”

The Economist pulled out of the conference on Thursday, one day after The New York Times did the same. Viacom CEO Bob Bakish and Los Angeles Times owner Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong have also confirmed their withdrawal.

But it's not just media outlets making a statement over Khashoggi's disappearance – Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi did the same on Friday, telling CNBC: “I’m very troubled by the reports to date about Jamal Khashoggi… we are following the situation closely, and unless a substantially different set of facts emerges, I won't be attending the FII conference in Riyadh.”

That came after billionaire Richard Branson suspended talks with Saudi Arabia regarding a planned $1 billion investment in his space ventures over Khashoggi's disappearance.

Khashoggi, a critic of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the Saudi royal family, was last seen on October 2 when he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Turkey has reportedly told the US that it has video and audio evidence proving the journalist, who lived in the US, was killed inside the consulate.

While several US senators led by Republicans Bob Corker and Lindsey Graham have triggered an investigation by the Trump administration into Khashoggi's whereabouts, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is still planning on attending the conference, which is scheduled to take place in Riyadh on October 23-25.

But while some are praising the outlets and individuals who are backing away from the event, others are reminding them that nothing was done in response to other actions by Saudi Arabia – including the bombing of a bus full of children.

One person said they simply didn't understand why the bus bombing, combined with the starvation associated with the crisis in Yemen, wasn't enough to make people like Richard Branson “have a conscience earlier.”

Another mentioned US arms sales to Saudi Arabia, after Trump praised a $12.5 billion deal in March, which was just part of a wider $350 billion deal struck between the two countries last year.

Meanwhile, the foreign minister of the United Arab Emirates has warned on Twitter that there there will be "repercussions" for the "political targeting" of Saudi Arabia.


RT2018/10/12
Virgin Galactic boss Richard Branson suspends $1bn Saudi investment over Khashoggi disappearance
Billionaire Richard Branson has suspended talks with Saudi Arabia regarding a planned $1bn investment in his space ventures after Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman was linked to the disappearance of a Washington Post journalist.

Branson, co-founder of Virgin Galactic, announced last October that Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund was planning to invest $1 billion in his commercial space flight companies. He is now putting the brakes on the investment, as well as distancing himself from participation in two advisory boards linked to the sovereign wealth fund, Branson said in statements to several media.

bloomberg 2018年10月6日 10:56 JST 更新日時 2018年10月6日 17:03 JST
サウジ、ソフトバンクの第2ビジョン・ファンドに5兆円出資へ
サウジアラビアの政府系ファンドは、ソフトバンクグループの孫正義会長兼社長が計画する第2のビジョン・ファンドに450億ドル(約5兆1170億円)出資する。1本目への拠出と合わせると、出資額は900億ドルに倍増することになる。
  サウジの公共投資ファンド(PIF)は、サウジ基礎産業公社(SABIC)の持ち分売却や国営石油会社サウジアラムコの新規株式公開(IPO)などによって向こう3−4年で1700億ドルの資金が入ると見込んでおり、その活用方法を探している。PIFの会長を務めるムハンマド皇太子がブルームバーグとのインタビューで明らかにした。

※ にこそく(市況民) @nicosokufx氏の2018/10/15のツイート
サウジ人記者殺害疑惑「ソフトバンクにも影響?」
ソフトバンク・ビジョン・ファンドでタッグを組む、
サウジのムハンマド皇太子に暗殺疑惑
ソフトバンク -5%
ファストリ -4% 決算後出尽くし続く
⇒値がさ株なので大口の売りの思惑も
2銘柄で日経平均を -140円 押し下げ!

・・・・・・

謀略で自国市民を殺すMBSの資金を預かるファンド運営者について世界はどう見るか。
posted by ZUKUNASHI at 11:43| Comment(0) | 国際・政治

Britain, France, Germany Press Riyadh on Missing Saudi Journalist Case

FARSNEWS2018/10/14
Britain, France, Germany Press Riyadh on Missing Saudi Journalist Case
TEHRAN (FNA)- The UK, French, and German governments directly appealed to Riyadh on Sunday “to provide a complete and detailed response” to the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

“Defending freedom of expression and a free press and ensuring the protection of journalists are key priorities for Germany, the United Kingdom and France,” a joint statement by the countries’ foreign ministers said, World News reported.

“In this spirit, light must be shed on the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, whose family has lost contact with him since October 2nd,” Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas stated.

Underlining a shared “grave concern” also expressed by others, including EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, the statement added that they “are treating this incident with the utmost seriousness”.

“There needs to be a credible investigation to establish the truth about what happened, and – if relevant – to identify those bearing responsibility for the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi, and ensure that they are held to account,” it noted.

“We encourage joint Saudi-Turkish efforts in that regard, and expect the Saudi Government to provide a complete and detailed response,” the statement said, adding that “we have conveyed this message directly to the Saudi authorities".
posted by ZUKUNASHI at 01:10| Comment(0) | 国際・政治

2018年10月14日

Turkish FM: Ankara Expects Saudi Cooperation in Khashoggi Case

FARSNEWS2018/10/14
Turkish FM: Ankara Expects Saudi Cooperation in Khashoggi Case
TEHRAN (FNA)- Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Saturday that Ankara expects cooperation from Saudi Arabia on the case of a prominent missing journalist.

Speaking with reporters at the Turkish Embassy Residence in London, Cavusoglu stated that there is a consensus on forming a joint working group with Saudi officials over the case of Jamal Khashoggi, who has not been seen since entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on October 2, Anadolu Agency reported.

“We launched an investigation after Khashoggi's disappearance,” Cavusoglu stressed, adding that “this investigation is getting deeper”.

He announced that there is a consensus on forming a joint working group on the case with Saudi officials after they requested one, but that “this does not mean that we will stop" Turkey's own investigation.

Cavusoglu underlined that the findings of the investigation can be shared with this joint working group as Khashoggi is a Saudi national but “Saudi Arabia should be cooperating” by giving Turkish prosecutors and experts access to the consulate.

Saying that the cooperation so far had fallen short of what it should be, he added that "for everything to be cleared up, we would like to see this”.

“The whole world is focused on this case,” Cavusoglu said, adding that it will probably be raised during his Monday meeting with British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

On the same day Khashoggi arrived at the consulate, 15 other Saudis, including several officials, arrived in Istanbul on two planes and visited the building while Khashoggi was also inside, according to police sources said. All of the identified individuals have since left Turkey.

Saudi authorities have yet to give a clear explanation of Khashoggi’s fate, while several countries --- particularly Turkey, the US, and the UK --- are pressing for the case to be cleared up as soon as possible.

On the case of American pastor Andrew Brunson, who was released by a Turkish court on Friday, Cavusoglu decried the US’ “unacceptable” threatening language and sanctions on Turkish Cabinet ministers over the issue, stressing that Ankara has always said “this issue would be solved by the judiciary.”

Cavusoglu said the court found Brunson guilty and convicted him to just over three years in prison --- but then released him due to good behavior and time served --- and “everyone should respect this”.

Americans and Westerners consider their citizens, no matter what country they are in and what charges they face, “untouchable”, Cavusoglu stated, adding that this attitude is against the “rule of law”.

Cavusoglu underscored that he hopes “the US now understands that pressure has no effect”, as such cases need to be left to the judiciary.

Brunson was arrested in December 2016, months after a defeated coup, and had faced terrorism-related offenses, including spying for FETO, the group behind the coup.
posted by ZUKUNASHI at 22:32| Comment(0) | 国際・政治

Saudi Media Calls Khashoggi Disappearance ‘Conspiracy’

FARSNEWS2018/10/14
Saudi Media Calls Khashoggi Disappearance ‘Conspiracy’
TEHRAN (FNA)- Government-backed Saudi Arabian media outlets are trying to portray the disappearance of prominent journalist Jamal Khashoggi as a “conspiracy” targeting the kingdom.

Commenting on journalist's vanishing after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2, the Al-Arabiya news channel reported that claims of his detention inside the facility had been pushed by “media outlets affiliated with the outlawed [pan-Arab opposition party] Muslim Brotherhood and Qatar”, presstv reported.

Another story on Al-Arabiya cast doubt on the identity of Khashoggi’s fiancée, who was waiting outside the consulate at the time. It asked whether Hatice Cengiz was truly the person she said she was, claiming that her Twitter profile showed she had followed “critics of Saudi Arabia”.

A column in the Saudi daily Okaz argued that Khashoggi had been advancing the interests of Qatar. The column went on to claim that Doha had a “50 percent ownership of The [Washington] Post and has influence over its editorial direction”.

The Post, where the Saudi journalist would maintain a column, is privately owned by American billionaire Jeff Bezos.

Another Okaz piece claimed in an item titled, “Who Liberated Khashoggi?” that the critic was a “terrorist sympathizer”, whose sectarian goals were designed to destabilize the Saudi government.

The feature suggested that Khashoggi’s disappearance equaled “liberation”, since he had been “kidnapped” by “extremist groups” while living abroad in self-imposed exile.

The Saudi Gazette wrote that any fears about Khashoggi’s disappearance had to be blamed on Qatar, not Saudi Arabia.

CCTV footage has shown entry into the consulate in Istanbul by 15 Saudis on the same day of Khashoggi’s disappearance.

The Washington Post reported earlier this week that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman had personally ordered an “operation” against critic, which would see him lured back to the kingdom and arrested.

Citing US intelligence intercepts of Saudi officials discussing the matter, the American daily reported Wednesday that details of the operation bore the hallmarks of a “rendition”.

Several reports have indicated that the 15-strong group --- among them bin Salman’s elite close protection unit --- who had arrived in Istanbul only to leave the Turkish soil hours later, either killed or kidnapped Khashoggi at the consulate.

FARSNEWS2018/10/14
US, UK May Boycott Major Conference in Riyadh over Saudi Journalist Case
TEHRAN (FNA)- US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and the UK's International Trade Secretary Liam Fox may not attend the "Davos in the Desert", a major investment conference in Riyadh, over concerns that Saudi Arabia is responsible for journalist Jamal Khashoggi's death.

The officials' possible boycott was confirmed to the BBC by 'diplomatic sources'.

If Mnuchin and Fox decide to boycott the Future Investment Initiative conference, they will join investors such as Richard Branson and journalists from The Economist, CNBC and The New York Times, who pulled out of the conference in Riyadh on Friday amid growing concerns over Khashoggi's disappearance.

The "Davos in the Desert" conference has become the biggest show for investors to promote MbS's vision for Saudi Arabia's future.

Khashoggi entered Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul on October 2 to obtain a document certifying he divorced his ex-wife. He has not been seen since.

Turkish sources have told media outlets they believe the Saudi writer and critic was killed inside the consulate in what they describe as "premeditated murder".

Saudi officials have countered that claim, insisting Khashoggi left the building before vanishing.

FARSNEWS2018/10/14
US President Says Washington Would Be 'Punishing Itself' If It Halts Arms Sales to Riyadh
TEHRAN (FNA)- US President Donald Trump stated that Washington would be “punishing itself” if it halted weapons sales to Saudi Arabia, as pressure mounts on him to take action over the suspected murder of dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi inside the kingdom’s consulate in Turkey.

“I actually think we’d be punishing ourselves if we did that,” Trump told reporters on Saturday at the White House, adding that “there are other things we can do that are very, very powerful, very strong and we’ll do them”, World News reported.

He further defended a $110 billion arms deal he announced with Riyadh last year, insisting that the deal was worth 450,000 jobs inside the United States.

“If they don’t buy it from us, they’re going to buy it from Russia or they’re going to buy it from China,” the American leader stated, noting that “think of that, $110 billion, all they’re going to do is give it to other countries, and I think that would be very foolish”.

Trump announced days ago that he has warned Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud he would not last in power "for two weeks" without US military support.

"We protect Saudi Arabia. Would you say they're rich. And I love the King, King Salman. But I said 'King − we're protecting you − you might not be there for two weeks without us − you have to pay for your military,'" Trump said.

The American leader had also called on Riyadh to increase its military spending, with an eye on more weapons sale to the "rich" kingdom.

Trump stressed that he had complained that Washington was not getting what it should from Saudi Arabia during a phone conversation with Salman.

Trump added that he had told King Salman that Riyadh has "trillions of dollars" and could pay its military bills.

"I love Saudi Arabia. They are great, King Salman, I spoke with him this morning. I said, king, you have got trillions of dollars. Without us, who knows what’s going to happen. .... With us they are totally safe. But we don’t get what we should be getting," he stated.

Despite the harsh rhetoric, the US administration has maintained a close relationship with Saudi Arabia, which it sees as a bulwark against Iran’s rising influence in the region.

Last year, the US president signed the largest arms deal in history with Saudi Arabia despite warnings that he could be accused of being complicit in the regime's war crimes in Yemen. During visit to Riyadh in May 2017, Saudi Arabia agreed to buy $US110 billion of US weapons and signed "investment" deals worth billions more.

The kingdom has one of the highest rates of spending on its military in the world, which stood at 10.3 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2017, according to World Bank data.

Before his presidency, Trump described Saudi Arabia as "a milk cow" which would be slaughtered when its milk runs out.

In an interview with CBS on Saturday, Trump warned that if Riyadh is behind the disappearance of missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Washington would inflict "severe punishment".

The US president stated that Washington "would be very upset" if the Saudi authorities had murdered the journalist, adding that Riyadh was "vehemently denying" the claims.

He also stated that there is much at stake with the Khashoggi case "maybe especially so" because he was a reporter.

According to Trump, he does not want to hurt US jobs by stopping military sales to Saudi Arabia.

Earlier, the American leader stated that he has been in contact with senior Saudi government officials about the disappearance of the WaPo journalist in Turkey.

Trump also on Thursday commented on the incident, which seems is not Riyadh's cup of tea. The leader of America, Saudi Arabia's strongest ally, stated that Khashoggi "went in" the Saudi consulate in Turkey, and "it doesn't look like he came out".

"We want to find out what happened. He went in, and it doesn't look like he came out. It certainly doesn't look like he's around," Trump told "Fox & Friends".

The president's remarks come days after The Washington Post, citing US intelligence intercepts, reported that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman hatched a plot to lure Khashoggi back to his home country and detain him.

"Well it would be a really sad thing and we will probably know in the very short future," Trump said when asked about the report, adding that "we don't like it. I don't like it. No good".

Trump has faced criticism for being too slow to respond to the disappearance of Khashoggi. A group of Republican and Democrat senators united to demand an investigation into the disappearance of the Saudi journalist. It could lead to sanctions against Saudi Arabia within 120 days.

Khashoggi entered Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul on October 2 to obtain a document certifying he divorced his ex-wife. He has not been seen since.

Turkish sources have told media outlets they believe the Saudi writer and critic was killed inside the consulate in what they describe as "premeditated murder". Saudi officials have countered that claim, insisting Khashoggi left the building before vanishing.

US and Turkish officials told The Washington Post there are audio and video recordings proving Khashoggi was tortured and murdered inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

Video recordings show a Saudi assassination team seizing the journalist after he walked in on October 2. He was then killed and his body dismembered, the officials stated. The audio was particularly gruesome, according to the sources.

"The voice recording from inside the embassy lays out what happened to Jamal after he entered," one official speaking anonymously because the intelligence is classified said, adding that "you can hear his voice and the voices of men speaking Arabic. You can hear how he was interrogated, tortured, and then murdered".

Another unnamed official confirmed men could be heard beating Khashoggi on the recording.

Before the journalist’s disappearance, US intelligence intercepted communications of Saudi officials discussing a plan to capture him, a person familiar with the information said, adding that The Riyadh regime wanted to lure Khashoggi back to Saudi Arabia and lay hands on him there, according to The Washinton Post.

It was not clear whether the Saudis intended to arrest and interrogate Khashoggi or to kill him, or if the United States warned Khashoggi that he was a target, this person stated.

The Washington Post has reported that the 15-member Saudi team had lain in wait for Khashoggi the day he entered the consulate but never came out.

A source close to the investigation told Middle East Eye that one of those 15 individuals is the head of the forensic department in Saudi General Security.

A Turkish official also told the New York Times on the condition of anonymity that a team of Saudi agents killed the 59-year-old writer within two hours of his arrival at the consulate, and then dismembered his body with a bone saw they had brought for the purpose.

"The official described a quick and complex operation in which Mr. Khashoggi was killed within two hours of his arrival at the consulate by a team of Saudi agents, who dismembered his body with a bone saw they brought for the purpose," the newspaper reported.

US intelligence revealed that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman ordered an operation to detain missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi after luring him back to Saudi Arabia, according to The Washington Post.

US officials speaking on the condition of anonymity told The Washington Post that Salman and other Saudi officials tried to get Khashoggi to return to Saudi Arabia, where he is from, with offers of government employment and protection.



posted by ZUKUNASHI at 21:46| Comment(0) | 国際・政治

トランプ

RT2018/10/13
All US presidents kowtow to Saudi Arabia – Trump is just honest about it
Donald Trump set off a backlash by saying US will not stop supplying Riyadh with weapons over the alleged murder of an opposition journalist. But ignoring Saudi sins to preserve the alliance is a feature of American presidencies.

When asked this week about potential sanctions over the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi, an exiled Saudi journalist and US resident, who walked into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last week, and hasn’t been seen since, Trump played the realpolitik card – suggesting that Russia and China would step in and replace American economic partners, if Washington pulled out.

“We don’t like [the Khashoggi situation] even a little bit,” Trump told journalists in the White House. “But as to whether or not we should stop $110 billion dollars from being spent in this country, knowing Saudi Arabia have four or five alternatives, two very good alternatives, that would not be acceptable to me.”

As RT’s Caleb Maupin says, Trump is merely removing the “smoke and mirrors” from the US relationship with the Gulf, which has always been about money and retaining a strategic ally in the region.

Previous leaders Bill Clinton, George Bush and Barack Obama literally bowed to Saudi royals throughout their terms, while praising their permanent drive for “modernization”, even as the Saudi state continued to execute hundreds of citizens each year and sponsor radical Islam and terrorism worldwide.

But with this brazen attitude, is Trump’s White House pushing new boundaries of cynicism, perhaps fueled partly but Riyadh's and Washington's shared enmity towards Iran, or is it merely acknowledging the status quo that has barely changed in half a century?
posted by ZUKUNASHI at 10:04| Comment(0) | 国際・政治

サウジがスケープゴートを差し出す

FARSNEWS2018/10/13
Arab Analyst: Trump after Secret Deal with Bin Salman to Stop Investigations into Khashoggi's Death
TEHRAN (FNA)- Abdel Bari Atwan, the editor-in-chief of Ray al-Youm newspaper, noted to US President Donald Trump's attempts to downplay impacts of the assassination of prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi by Riyadh on Washington's ties with the country, and said he is after a secret deal with Crown Prince bin Salman to stop investigations into the crime.

Trump has said US investigators are looking into how Jamal Khashoggi vanished at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, but made clear that whatever the outcome, the US would not forgo lucrative arms deals with Riyadh, Atwan wrote on Friday.

“We’re being very tough. And we have investigators over there and we’re working with Turkey, and frankly we’re working with Saudi Arabia. We want to find out what happened,” Trump told Fox News on Thursday morning.

Atwan said that Trump's remarks came as Turkey later dismissed claims of joint investigation into the case by the US investigators.

The president’s announcement raised concerns of a cover-up of evidence implicating Saudi Arabia’s powerful crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, in plans to silence the dissident journalist, he added.

According to Atwan, the most important part of the issue is that Trump's administration is now in a bottleneck and does not want to take any action against Saudi Arabia.

He added that the important point in Trump's remarks is that he is making strenuous attempts to make a deal on the mutilated corpse of Khashoggi and not to resolve the mystery, noting that an active contact channel has been established between bin Salman and three US officials, including US National Security Advisor John Bolton, Trump's son-in-law Jerad Kushner and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Atwan said that a secret contact channel has also been set up between Turkey and Saudi Arabia, adding that the Turkish government is not after confrontation against Riyadh in Khashoggi's case and the Turkish media's approach to the issue shows that unlike the US media, they have grown calmer over the case in the past two days.

Khashoggi has been missing since October 2 when he entered the consulate to obtain paperwork so he could remarry, and has not been seen since.

Since Saturday, Turkish officials have maintained that he was assassinated inside the building, but have not provided evidence or spoken on the record. Meanwhile, Saudi officials have stressed that the 59-year-old left the consulate soon after he arrived and were concerned about his whereabouts.

FARSNEWS2018/10/13
Arab Media: S. Arabia Asks for UAE's Help in Khashoggi Crisis, Might Name Saud al-Qahtani as Scapegoat
TEHRAN (FNA)- Arab media outlets have reported that Saudi Arabia has demanded the UAE officials for assistance to resolve the crisis created after murdering prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Turkey.

"The Western diplomats have confirmed that talks are underway at the level of the highest-ranking Saudi and UAE officials with the western officials, specially from the US, so that they (the westerners) do not accuse bin Salman of ordering Khashoggi's brutal killing," the Arabic-language Khalij Online wrote on Saturday.

It added that the western diplomats who have called for anonymity have said that Saudi Arabia and the UAE have agreed to victimize one of the Saudi officials to exonerate bin Salman.

"Possibly, that Saudi official will be Saud al-Qahtani, the adviser to the Royal Court, and they will claim that he has masterminded the operation (to kill Khashoggi) without the senior Saudi officials' knowledge," Khalij Online reported.


Khashoggi has been missing since October 2 when he entered the consulate to obtain paperwork so he could remarry, and has not been seen since.

Since Saturday, Turkish officials have maintained that he was assassinated inside the building, but have not provided evidence or spoken on the record. Meanwhile, Saudi officials have stressed that the 59-year-old left the consulate soon after he arrived and were concerned about his whereabouts.

Turkish investigators heard testimony from a source who was inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul at the time of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi's disappearance who claims to have heard sounds of a struggle, according to a report.

"I have learned earlier that, among the evidence with the investigation is testimony from inside the consulate at the time that Jamal (Khashoggi) was there, which includes hearing sounds of loud screams and shouting, as well as calls for help and the sound of a struggle and then sudden silence," Al-Jazeera's Jamal Elshayyal said.

Turkish foreign ministry sources denied to Al-Jazeera that Saudis rescinded their authorization for Turkish authorities to search the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

The foreign ministry’s remarks came after some media outlets claimed that Saudi Arabia cancelled an offer to allow Turkish authorities onto the premises after Turkish state-owned media published a list of the 15 Saudi nationals who allegedly arrived in Istanbul on the same day Khashoggi disappeared.

Turkish investigators are also requesting to search a number of vehicles registered to the consulate, along with the home of the consul general, which is a few hundred meters from the consulate, after a van with tinted windows was seen leaving the consulate and driving to the home a couple of hours after Khashoggi entered.

The Washington Post reported that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman himself ordered an operation targeting Khashoggi.

Based on US intelligence intercepts, Saudi officials were heard discussing a plan to lure Khashoggi from the US state of Virginia, where he resides, back to Saudi Arabia where he would be detained, the newspaper noted, citing unnamed US officials.

It was not clear to the officials with knowledge of the intelligence whether the Saudis discussed harming Khashoggi as part of the plan to capture him, according to the report.

alaraby.co.uk 2018/10/7
Lies, murder and deceit: the daily reality of Mohammed Bin Salman's war on dissent

The disappearance and alleged murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi has cast a spotlight on Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman's relentless crackdown on dissent, with civil society activism brutally suppressed to stifle all criticism.

Prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi disappeared on 2 October after entering his country's consulate in Istanbul. He had been living in self-imposed exile in the United States since last year to avoid possible arrest.

Khashoggi had been critical of some policies of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Riyadh's intervention in the war in Yemen.

Turkish police believe he was murdered inside the consulate by a Saudi team sent to Istanbul.

The Saudi consulate rejected claims that the journalist was killed there as "baseless".

Amnesty International said that if reports of the planned assassination were true, it would set an "abysmal new low" in Saudi Arabia's suppression of the freedom of expression.

Bin Salman has sought to consolidate his power under the guise of economic and social liberalisation, detaining economists, bloggers, intellectuals, clerics and rights activists

"The Gulf Kingdom routinely uses draconian laws to crack down on peaceful dissent at home, and has even arrested dissidents abroad in the past," the group said in a statement.

"But the enforced disappearance – and now reported assassination – of one of its citizens who had sought asylum abroad should set alarm bells ringing".

War and blockade

With little experience in government, the young Mohammed bin Salman, known as MbS, has risen to power in just three years to oversee all major aspects of politics, security and the economy in Saudi Arabia.

As defence minister, Bin Salman launched a devastating military campaign in Yemen in 2015, which has killed more than 10,000 civilians and created what the UN calls the world's "worst humanitarian disaster".

In late June 2017, Saudi King Salman installed his son Mohammed bin Salman as crown, replacing his nephew, Mohammed bin Nayef, as successor to the throne.

Just weeks prior to being named as crown prince, Bin Salman spearheaded the blockade of Qatar, which began on 6 June.

All land, sea, and air links to Qatar were closed.

Since then, nurturing the public profile of a reformer, he has sought to consolidate his power under the guise of economic and social liberalisation, detaining economists, bloggers, intellectuals, clerics and rights activists.

Wave of arrests

In September 2017, more than 20 influential clerics and intellectuals were detained for allegedly acting on behalf of "foreign parties".

One such detainee was reformist cleric Salman al-Awdah, whose detention appeared to result from a tweet endorsing warmer relations with Qatar.
posted by ZUKUNASHI at 01:25| Comment(0) | 国際・政治

2018年10月13日

Trump vows 'severe punishment' if Saudi Arabia is behind killing of WaPo journalist Khashoggi

RT2018/10/13
Trump vows 'severe punishment' if Saudi Arabia is behind killing of WaPo journalist Khashoggi
Saudi Arabia will face "severe punishment" if it ordered the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, US President Donald Trump has warned.

"There's a lot at stake, and maybe especially so because this man was a reporter. There's something really terrible and disgusting about that if that were the case...we're going to get to the bottom of it and there will be severe punishment," Trump said during an interview with the CBS program 60 Minutes on Friday.

However, Trump stressed that even if the journalist was killed at the hands of Riyadh, he still wouldn't end the arms deal between the two countries.

"They are ordering military equipment; everybody in the world wanted that order. Russia wanted it, China wanted it, we wanted it - we got it. And we got all of it, every bit of it."

He went on to say that he doesn't want to "lose an order” or hurt jobs, and that there are "other ways of punishing" Riyadh if needed.

Khashoggi, a critic of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the Saudi royal family, was last seen on October 2 when he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to get documents for his upcoming marriage.

Turkish officials have stated that they believe a 15-person Saudi “assassination squad” killed Khashoggi at the consulate. Ankara says it has video and audio evidence that he was murdered inside the building, though that information has not been publicly presented.

An investigation into his disappearance by Turkey has reportedly revealed that recordings made on his Apple Watch indicate that he was tortured and killed, Turkey's Daily Sabah reported on Saturday, citing “reliable sources in a special intelligence department.” It added that his watch was synced with his iPhone, which his fiancée was carrying outside the consulate.

The paper also stated that Saudi intelligence agents had realized after Khashoggi died that the watch was recording, prompting them to use his fingerprint to unlock it. They reportedly deleted some files, but not all of them.

Riyadh has denied claims that it ordered the killing of Khashoggi, with the country's interior minister, Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud bin Naif, condemning the “lies and baseless allegations” against the kingdom.
posted by ZUKUNASHI at 23:30| Comment(0) | 国際・政治

ジャマル・カショーギの失踪に世界的な注目が集まる 4

FRSNEWS2018/10/11
Jamal Khashoggi Case: Consular Source Heard Screams, Sounds of Struggle, Calls for Help
TEHRAN (FNA)- Turkish investigators heard testimony from a source who was inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul at the time of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi's disappearance who claims to have heard sounds of a struggle, according to a report.

"I have learned earlier that, among the evidence with the investigation is testimony from inside the consulate at the time that Jamal [Khashoggi] was there, which includes hearing sounds of loud screams and shouting, as well as calls for help and the sound of a struggle and then sudden silence," Al-Jazeera's Jamal Elshayyal said.

Turkish foreign ministry sources denied to Al-Jazeera that Saudis rescinded their authorisation for Turkish authorities to search the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

The foreign ministry’s remarks came after some media outlets claimed that Saudi Arabia cancelled an offer to allow Turkish authorities onto the premises after Turkish state-owned media published a list of the 15 Saudi nationals who allegedly arrived in Istanbul on the same day Khashoggi disappeared.

Turkish investigators are also requesting to search a number of vehicles registered to the consulate, along with the home of the consul general, which is a few hundred metres from the consulate, after a van with tinted windows was seen leaving the consulate and driving to the home a couple of hours after Khashoggi entered.

The Washington Post reported that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman himself ordered an operation targeting Khashoggi.

Based on US intelligence intercepts, Saudi officials were heard discussing a plan to lure Khashoggi from the US state of Virginia, where he resides, back to Saudi Arabia where he would be detained, the newspaper noted, citing unnamed US officials.

It was not clear to the officials with knowledge of the intelligence whether the Saudis discussed harming Khashoggi as part of the plan to capture him, according to the report.

Jamal Khashoggi case: All the latest updates
Khashoggi's Apple watch
A Turkish security official told Reuters news agency the Apple smartwatch Khashoggi was wearing at the time of his disappearance was being looked into by Turkish investigators.

They said the watch was connected to a mobile phone Khashoggi left outside and security and intelligence agents in Turkey believe it may provide important clues as to Khashoggi’s whereabouts or what happened to him.

If the watch and phone were connected to the internet and the devices were close enough to synchronise, data from the watch - saved to the cloud - could potentially provide investigators with information such as the journalist's heart rate and location.

"We have determined that it was on him when he walked into the consulate," a security official said. "Intelligence services, the prosecutor’s office, and a technology team are working on this."

RT2018/10/11
Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the US has unexpectedly left for Riyadh, with the State Department saying they did not request it but “expect” the envoy to return with information about the missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

“That was not our direction,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told reporters on Thursday, adding, “we expect some information when he gets back.”

The Khashoggi case has the “highest level attention” from the US government, Nauert added.

Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist who wrote for the Washington Post and lived in Turkey, was last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last week. Ankara has accused Saudi Arabia of murdering the journalist. Riyadh has rejected the allegations as “baseless.”

Ambassador Khalid bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud is the son of King Salman and younger brother of Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman.

On Wednesday, 22 senators from both parties sent a letter to President Donald Trump demanding an investigation into Khashoggi’s disappearance under the Global Magnitsky Act. The administration has four months to complete the investigation and send a report to the Senate, including recommendations for any sanctions against individuals or countries found responsible.

Trump had already been asked to look into the matter by Khashoggi’s fiancee. "It's a very sad situation. It's a very bad situation. And we want do get to the bottom of it,” the US president told reporters Wednesday. "We cannot let this happen, to reporters, to anybody."

RT2018/10/11
‘Absolutely disgusting’: London museum blasted for hosting Saudi event amid Khashoggi disappearance
London’s National History Museum has been blasted as “absolutely disgusting” after it emerged that it’s due to host an event for the Saudi embassy despite Riyadh being accused of abducting and murdering a journalist in Turkey.

The museum has come under fire for the event, on Thursday night, aimed at celebrating ‘Saudi Arabia Day’ while the Middle Eastern country stands accused of the suspected killing of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi after he entered its embassy in Istanbul, Turkey, last week.

News of the museum hosting the event emerged when details were leaked to The Guardian’s columnist Owen Jones.

Jones called for the event to be cancelled in light of Khashoggi’s disappearance, as well as Saudi Arabia’s bombing campaign in Yemen, where a three-year-old civil war has reduced the country to what the UN has branded the “world’s worst humanitarian crisis.”

The museum, however, defended the event and said it would not cancel it as commercial events are an “important source of external funding.”

RT2018/10/11
Missing Saudi journalist: BBC slammed for releasing off-air Khashoggi interview
The BBC is under fire for releasing off-air comments made by Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi in a radio interview, three days before he went missing in Turkey – a decision some say may have endangered his life.

The BBC’s Newshour, a news and current affairs programme for the World Service, tweeted an off-air recording of Khashoggi, making comments about life under the Saudi regime, and revealed that he wouldn’t be “able to go home [to Saudi Arabia] because of the fear of arrest.”

The BBC insisted they wouldn’t normally release such a conversation, but “in light of the circumstances” they were making an exception.

Their decision has prompted widespread criticism on social media. Dr H.A. Hellyer, an associate fellow at British defence and security think tank, Royal United Services Institute, who says he’s been detained by authorities, labelled the BBC’s actions as ‘reckless’. He claims he’d now have to think twice about making off-the-record conversations with any medium.

Chris Doyle, director for the Council for Arab-British Understanding (CAABU) has called the Newshour’s decision as “reprehensible.” He also appeared to question whether they had thought about the impact on the family and friends of the Saudi journalist. Others suggested the BBC’s move had contravened journalistic ethics and may have sealed the fate of Khashoggi.

RT2018/10/12
‘Pressure will be on Turkey’ if Saudis found guilty of journalist’s murder in Istanbul – analysts
If the Saudis are found to be complicit in the disappearance of US-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the result could be a “huge earthquake in international relations,” experts believe.

The Turkish government reportedly has recordings that confirm the alleged kidnapping and murder of outspoken Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. The scandal sounds like a ticking time bomb for international relations, which could not only affect Turkish-Saudi relations, but drag in Washington, the key Saudi ally.

Former US diplomat Jim Jatras and investigative journalist Rick Sterling tell RT what could happen if allegations that the Gulf monarchy, headed by Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, is behind the plot prove to be true.

If Saudi Arabia is found to be complicit in Khashoggi’s disappearance, Sterling believes “the pressure will be on [Turkish president] Erdogan and Turkey to escalate.”

“Saudi Arabia effectively abducted Lebanese Prime Minister [Saad] Hariri and he appeared in Riyadh, resigned - supposedly - and then it turned out he was coerced in some form or manner,” Sterling added. “The Saudi government is extreme, it’s bizarre and we’ll have to see how the facts develop in this case but it points towards the instability of that government that beheads hundreds of citizens a year.”

However, he adds, the Saudi regime has been “an extremely close ally of the US and Israel. This would be a huge earthquake in international relations if the calls for a serious reduction in relations continues.”

Despite the years of brutality against their own people, Khashoggi’s disappearance seems to have ushered the Saudi regime’s reckless violence into the global spotlight, Jatras told RT.

“Saudi Arabia is usually immune from criticism from the American establishment, They can destroy Yemen, they can cut people’s heads off… and suddenly over one journalist everyone is outraged; We discover that Saudi Arabia is an oppressive regime that kills people,” Jatras said, adding that the sudden attention “seems very strange” considering the “bloody murder that the Saudis have gotten away with for decades.”

A number of media outlets and corporations have cited the Khashoggi affair to pull out of the upcoming Future Investment Initiative (FII) in Riyadh. Meanwhile, pressure is growing on the Trump administration to freeze the sale of US weapons to Saudi Arabia and even sanction Saudi officials under the Global Magnitsky Act if they are found responsible for the journalist’s disappearance.

So far, Trump has resisted the notion, saying that stopping the $110 billion Saudi investment into US weapons would force the longtime US ally to look instead toward Russia or China.

AMN2018/10/13
Saudi Interior Ministry denies reports of Khashoggi’s murder
Jamal Khashoggi, a columnist for The Washington Post, has been missing since October 2, when he visited the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, to obtain documents needed for his upcoming marriage.

The journalist’s fiancee stayed outside the consulate building waiting for Khashoggi for hours before being told by one of the Consulate General’s employees that the journalist had already left. According to media reports, Turkish investigators believe the journalist was murdered inside the consulate.

Meanwhile, Saudi Interior Minister Abdulaziz bin Saud bin Nayef slammed Friday allegations regarding the death of Khashoggi as “lies,” stressing that the accusations of murder plot were targeting the Saudi government, Reuters reported.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said earlier that the Saudi authorities’ comments were unconvincing and called for Riyadh to prove that they have nothing to do with the incident. According to the Turkish Foreign Ministry, Saudi Arabia has authorized Turkish officials to access the consulate building in relation to the disappearance.
According to media reports, the Turkish authorities have informed US officials that they have audio and video recordings that prove that the missing Saudi journalist was killed inside the consulate.

Khashoggi’s disappearance has led officials and business leaders to drop out of some of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s large projects.

Several American companies and business leaders have pulled out of an upcoming The Future Investment Initiative conference in Saudi Arabia as questions mount over the disappearance of Saudi journalist. Moreover, Bloomberg, the New York Times, the Financial Times, CNN and CNBC all have cut their ties with the conference.
ALSO READ Houthis unleashes barrage of missiles on southern Saudi Arabia (video0
On Wednesday, former US Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said that he had suspended his advisory role on the board of Saudi Arabia’s planned mega business zone, NEOM, until more is known about what happened to Khashoggi.
According to Reuters, the possible murder of a high-profile critic of Saudi crown prince has cast a long shadow over Saudi Arabia’s global image and it could have significant implications for Middle East politics.
posted by ZUKUNASHI at 18:08| Comment(0) | 国際・政治

ジャマル・カショーギの失踪よりもサウジとの武器取引に関心を示すトランプ

RT2018/10/12
Trump under pressure to stop arms sales to ‘good partner’ Saudi Arabia over Khashoggi affair
As public pressure mounts on the Trump administration to halt arms sales to Saudi Arabia over the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the US defense industry is alarmed while critics of the Yemen war hope for the best.

Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist living in Turkey who wrote for the Washington Post, was last seen entering a Saudi consulate in Istanbul last Friday. Turkey claims he was murdered by Saudi assassins, which Riyadh has denied.

Several major US weapons manufacturers have expressed concern to the White House about proposals to block further arms sales to the Saudis over the Khashoggi case, Reuters reported on Friday citing anonymous US officials.

Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) has already suggested freezing the sale of US weapons to Riyadh until the Khashoggi case is resolved. President Donald Trump has so far remained unconvinced.

“They’re spending $110 billion on military equipment and on things that create jobs ... for this country. I don’t like the concept of stopping an investment of $110 billion into the United States, because you know what they’re going to do? They’re going to take that money and spend it in Russia or China or someplace else,” Trump told reporters at the White House.

If it turns out that Khashoggi was abducted and killed on orders of the Saudi government, “it will destroy the relationship as we know it,” Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) told Fox News on Friday. The chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Bob Corker (R-Tennessee) had said the day before that such a turn of events would “hugely change our relationship.”

Corker and Graham were among the 22 senators that sent Trump a letter earlier this week, demanding a US probe into Khashoggi’s disappearance under the Global Magnitsky Act. The White House is now obligated to provide a report within 120 days, including recommendations for sanctions against those responsible.

Washington, DC lobbyists The Harbour Group announced on Friday they will be ending their $80,000 a month contract with the Saudi Embassy, CNN reported. The Saudi ambassador to Washington, brother of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, reportedly returned to Riyadh for consultations earlier this week.

Though a number of US-based companies have chosen to withdraw from the upcoming Future Investment Initiative conference in Saudi Arabia, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is still going. The desert kingdom has “been a very good partner,” he told CNBC on Friday.

Though the missing journalist is not an American citizen, he did write for the Washington Post - a newspaper beloved by the US political establishment and openly hostile to the Trump administration. Therefore, the Khashoggi affair has quickly grown into an internal US political issue, with some of Trump’s critics blaming it on the president’s “anti-press rhetoric.”

Critics of the Saudi war on Yemen have welcomed the newfound scrutiny of US support for the government in Riyadh, even if it took an unrelated case to bring it about. A Saudi-led coalition invaded Yemen in 2015, on behalf of a pro-Riyadh president ousted by what they say are Iranian-backed rebels. The war has resulted in tens of thousands of deaths and widespread civilian suffering.

Others have pointed out that weapons sales have now become an excuse for perpetuating US foreign wars, which Trump himself opposed during his 2016 presidential campaign.




thinkprogress
Trump cites Saudi Arabia’s arms deal with U.S. to downplay apparent murder of journalist
"Again, this took place in Turkey, and to the best of our knowledge, Khashoggi is not a United States citizen, is that right, or?"
Aaron Rupar Oct 11, 2018, 3:28 pm
During a press availability on Thursday, the supposed leader of the free world downplayed the apparent death of Jamal Khashoggi at the hands of the Saudi regime as a cost of doing business, and pointed out that the Virginia-based dissident journalist was merely a permanent resident of the United States.

“Again, this took place in Turkey, and to the best of our knowledge, Khashoggi is not a United States citizen, is that right, or?… he’s a permanent resident, okay,” President Trump said. “We don’t like it even a little bit. But as to whether or not we should stop $110 billion from being spent in this country, knowing that they have four or five alternatives − two very good alternatives − that would not be acceptable to me.”
Trump’s “$110 billion” comment refers to an arms deal his administration struck with Saudi Arabia in May.

Earlier during the press availability, Trump was unable to describe what exactly the U.S. is doing to investigate the apparent death of Khashoggi inside the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, beyond saying, “we are looking at it, we are looking at it very strongly.” He characterized Khashoggi’s potential murder as “a terrible thing, assuming it happened.”

Asked about the possibility of punishing Saudi Arabia, Trump made clear that he prioritizes doing business with the country more than he does basic human rights.

“I don’t like stopping massive amounts of money that’s being poured into our country,” Trump said. “They are spending $110 billion on military equipment and on things that create jobs for this country.”

Trump’s financial relationship with Saudi Arabia goes beyond arms sales. As the Washington Post reported in August, the Saudi regime has been pumping money directly into Trump’s pockets through his hotels.

FARSNEWS2018/10/11
Trump: Khashoggi Still in Saudi Consulate
TEHRAN (FNA)- Ten days after disappearance of well known Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, US President Donald Trump commented on the incident, which seems is not Riyadh's cup of tea. The leader of America, Saudi Arabia's strongest ally, stated that Khashoggi "went in" the Saudi consulate in Turkey, and "it doesn't look like he came out".

"We have investigators over there and we're working with Turkey and frankly we're working with Saudi Arabia," Trump told "Fox & Friends", adding that "we want to find out what happened. He went in, and it doesn't look like he came out. It certainly doesn't look like he's around".

The US president on Thursday called Washington relations with Riyadh "excellent" but indicated that could change if the Saudi government is found to have orchestrated the killing of Khashoggi.

Humiliating Riyadh government over its power and stability, Trump once again stressed that "there would be no Saudi Arabia if there wasn't a United States because we protected them".

Trump announced days ago that he has warned Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud he would not last in power "for two weeks" without US military support.

Despite the harsh rhetoric, the US administration has maintained a close relationship with Saudi Arabia, which it sees as a bulwark against Iran’s rising influence in the region.

When pressed by "Fox & Friends" hosts if American-Saudi ties would be jeopardized if it was discovered that Khashoggi was killed, Trump said, "You're right", adding that "I have to find out what happened. I mean, I do have to find out. And we're probably getting closer than you might think. But I have to find out what happened".

The president's remarks come days after The Washington Post, citing US intelligence intercepts, reported that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman hatched a plot to lure Khashoggi back to his home country and detain him.

"Well it would be a really sad thing and we will probably know in the very short future," Trump said when asked about the report, adding that "we don't like it. I don't like it. No good".

Trump has faced criticism for being too slow to respond to the disappearance of Khashoggi. A group of Republican and Democrat senators united to demand an investigation into the disappearance of the Saudi journalist. It could lead to sanctions against Saudi Arabia within 120 days.

Khashoggi has been missing since he entered the Riyadh consulate in Istanbul on October 2.

The disappearance of the Saudi journalist has sparked global concern, particularly after Turkish sources stated that authorities believed he was killed inside the consulate in Istanbul.

Saudi officials at the consulate have denied that Khashoggi had been killed or abducted at the mission, rejecting the accusations were baseless; yet, Ankara has asked for permission to search the consulate premises.

As Khashoggi prepared to enter the Saudi consulate, a squad of men from Saudi Arabia who investigators suspect played a role in his disappearance was ready and in place. They had arrived from Saudi capital, Riyadh, early that morning and checked in at two inter-national hotels in Istanbul before driving to the consulate in the leafy Levent neighborhood, according to two people with knowledge of the investigation. According to flight records, two privately owned planes flying from Riyadh arrived in Istanbul on October 2, one before sunrise and the other in the late afternoon.

Last year, the US president signed the largest arms deal in history with Saudi Arabia despite warnings that he could be accused of being complicit in the regime's war crimes in Yemen. During visit to Riyadh in May 2017, Saudi Arabia agreed to buy $US110 billion of US weapons and signed "investment" deals worth billions more.

The kingdom has one of the highest rates of spending on its military in the world, which stood at 10.3 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2017, according to World Bank data.

Before his presidency, Trump described Saudi Arabia as "a milk cow" which would be slaughtered when its milk runs out.

FARSNEWS2018/10/11
Whistle-Blower: Turkish Security in Possession of Saudi Consulate's CCTV Camera Footage Recorded in Past 3 Months
TEHRAN (FNA)- The Turkish security forces have found access to all the video files recorded by the CCTV cameras of the Saudi consulate in the last three months during their investigation into the case of prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Saudi whistle-blower Mujtahid revealed on Thursday.

"All recorded files of the CCTV cameras of the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in the last three months are now in the hands of the Turkish security forces," Mujtahid, who is believed to be a member of or have a well-connected source in the royal family, said in a tweet on Thursday.

He added that the US officials, with the help of the CIA and Turkish authorities, have understood that Khashoggi has been killed and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is the one to be blamed.

Mujtahid said that US President Donald Trump and his advisor and son-in-law Jared Kushner have come to believe that saving bin Salman is growing rather impossible.

On Wednesday, a Turkish pro-government newspaper reported to identify the 15 men who Turkey claims murdered a journalist inside the Saudi Arabian consulate.

The front-page of Sabah displayed pictures of the alleged 15-member intelligence team who they said were behind the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi.

Earlier this week, Turkish President Erdogan called on Saudi Arabia to prove that Khashoggi left the embassy. On Tuesday, Saudi Arabia granted permission for Turkish authorities to search the kingdom's Istanbul consulate.

Along with photographs of the suspects, Sabah published the names and birth years of the 15 Saudis they claim arrived on October 2. The newspaper published photographs of 12 of the men arriving in Istanbul’s Ataturk airport, captured as the men passed through passport control.

Khashoggi, a former Saudi government adviser, had been living in self-imposed exile in the United States since last year fearing possible arrest.

He has been critical of policies of the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Riyadh's intervention in the war in Yemen.

FARSNEWS2018/10/11
No Murder Mystery: Saudi Royal Court Ordered Journalist Assassinated
TEHRAN (FNA)- Turkish media have quoted officials as saying that Saudi Arabia is behind the assassination of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, and that the order to murder him came from the “highest” levels of the Saudi royal court.

On top of this, Turkish officials have named 15 Saudi men that they have identified as “operatives” involved in the assassination of Khashoggi. The murderous group included a Saudi Special Forces member, two royal guards, and a chief in the internal security agency.

Of course, Saudi officials still deny that anything at all happened to Khashoggi, claiming he entered the consulate on October 2 and left unharmed. Turkish officials, however, don’t think so. According to CCTV cameras, phone call records by the CIA (they refuse to acknowledge or come forward), and confidential intelligence, he was killed. His body has not been found, but there has been no sign of him since this visit, and this is in no way a murder mystery:

1- Turkish officials have concluded that the order to assassinate Khashoggi came from the highest levels of the Saudi government. President Donald Trump has confirmed that he has talked to officials at the highest levels of the Saudi government as well about the matter.

2- Khshoggi was last seen at 1:14 p.m. local time last Tuesday as he entered the Saudi consulate. Turkish officials, talking to Western media, have described the operation as "quick and complex," and that Khashoggi was killed within two hours of his arrival at the Saudi consulate. The agents "dismembered his body with a bone saw they brought for the purpose. It's like 'Pulp Fiction,'" they told the media.

3- Turkish officials have repeatedly said that Khashoggi has been killed. A friend of the journalist, Turan Kislakci, who is also the head of the Turkish-Arab Media Association, told the Western media that Turkish officials called him and "offered their condolences and told us to be ready for a funeral".

4- That Turkey was so easily able to identify this group, and that they arrived in such a conspicuous manner suggests that the Saudis did little to cover their actions, and may even have figured being implicated would intimidate other dissidents. Closed-circuit television footage, flight trackers, intercepted communications and even rumors of a bone saw can easily help serve pieces of this puzzle.

5- The Washington Post - for which Khashoggi wrote critical columns – says US intelligence intercepted communications of Saudi officials discussing a plan to capture the journalist. The Post says the Saudis wanted to lure Khashoggi back to Saudi Arabia and lay hands on him there.

6- Trump claims he wants the US to get to the bottom of the incident. He told reporters that the US is “demanding everything” and considers the matter a very serious situation, adding the US is working closely with Turkey. Trump is clearly doubling down on his push for answers on the matter. He’s not the only one, with Congressional leaders that usually side with Saudi Arabia on all things even starting to ask questions. In that case, the next best move by Washington is to ask the CIA to release their records on phone calls before the murder happened. Yes, they always keep phone call records of everyone up until five years.

7- US Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) spoke to reporters Wednesday, October 10, reporting that it would be a “game changer” if the Saudis had in any way mistreated Khashoggi. Since early indications are that the Saudis had him killed and chopped him into bits, that’s going to be tough for Graham to back away from if this turns out to be the case, which, indeed, is the case. Because Sen. Graham and Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) both have warned there would be “hell to pay” if the Saudis were behind the journalist’s disappearance. It seems that’s an even safer bet, and while Graham didn’t want to elaborate on what that meant, he did say he thinks the Saudis “know what it means”.

All things considered, and as maintained by Turkish officials, "The Saudis are not cooperating fully with the investigation. They are not open to cooperating." In addition, Saudi authorities have asked Turkish authorities to postpone the search of their consulate in Istanbul. Concerns over Khashoggi’s disappearance have nothing to do with international politics or the geopolitics of the Middle East. For that reason and no other, this particular murder case should prompt calls for investigations from around the world, particularly from the United Nations.

To that end, the Wahhabi regime’s staunchest Western allies, including the United States, where Khashoggi had applied for permanent residency, are equally expected to urge Saudi Arabia to come clean and refrain from double standards. By simply being in touch with the "highest levels" of the Saudi government about Khashoggi's case and/or expressing concerns about his murder, as President Trump would like to suggest, the Saudi regime won’t be pressed enough to reveal more about the murder, much less be held to account in the court of justice.

The Saudi regime might have been able to silence Khashoggi, but it has miscalculated the global impact his murder would have. Under these circumstances and international law, the autocratic regime should never be allowed to escape international justice or else we should wait for more such crimes. It is now the international community's turn to show its choice.

FARSNEWS2018/10/12
For US Money Is More Important Than Murder of Saudi Journalist
TEHRAN (FNA)- A top priority for the US administration, as with many recent administrations, is the selling of massive amounts of US arms to Saudi Arabia. That says why President Donald Trump will never get to the bottom of the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

He first claimed he is determined to tackle this matter at the “highest levels.” Now Trump is walking back the issue, insisting that it isn’t worth it for the US to imperil $110 billion in arms sales to Saudi Arabia over a single journalist. Trump says it wouldn’t be acceptable to lose the $110 billion deal, adding that the journalist’s disappearance took place in Turkey, and he’s not a United States citizen.

Trump, as with many recent presidents, has prioritized the relationship between Saudi Arabia and the United States over that of the journalist’s death. He has even specifically warned against upsetting Saudi leaders as it could hurt the US monetarily. “I don’t like stopping massive amounts of money that’s being poured into our country,” Trump said, according to a tweet this week. He added, “they are spending $110b on military equipment and on things that create jobs for this country.”

This is not something of a surprise:

- The arms deal is simply too important to US arms companies, and any serious attempt to punish the Saudis for the killing of Khashoggi is going to boil down to a fight over the arms deal. After all, this is the same autocratic regime that has been murdering thousands of Yemeni people since 2015 and the US government has done nothing to stop the conflict, much less stop its arms supply or refuelling Saudi aircraft mid-air.

- Saudi Arabia is no different than the other authoritarian, violent, and despotic regimes that have dominated the region since the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire. Saudi Arabia is a harsh place, where politically-motivated assassinations and unsavoury governing practices are as commonplace as the oil flowing underneath its sands. To view Saudi Arabia as above the region’s other Arab states is not matched by the facts.

- The relationship between the US and Saudi Arabia is not rooted in common beliefs, shared values and ethics. It is rooted in identical foreign policy interests to dominate the region and protect Israel. Such ties are the reason why Yemen and Syria are in turmoil. They are also the reason why ISIL and Al-Qaeda, the US-Saudi foot soldiers, are still present throughout the region.

- Saudi Arabia is not the answer to the region’s many problems, as Trump would like to suggest. It is in fact the root cause of all regional problems. The despotic regime has taken maximum advantage of America’s appetite for controlling crude market and a desire for a long-term regional partner in crime in order to press its own Takfiri-Wahhabi agenda in the region. This agenda is centred on the regime’s rivalry with Iran and its absolutist quest for hegemony. The United States, having interest in the sectarian fault-lines of the Middle East, has frequently chosen to wade into Arab conflicts on Saudi Arabia’s side.

- Saudi Arabia’s indiscriminate bombing campaign in Yemen, its embargo of Qatar and its export of Wahhabi ideology are not exactly helpful in assuring US security. Many of those who carried out terror attacks in the US were from Saudi Arabia. Riyadh’s war on Yemen, and Washington’s logistical assistance to the Saudi Air Force in particular, has been especially devastating to the people of that destitute country and America’s reputation among the Yemeni population − all the while providing more operating space for the very transnational terrorist groups the US and Saudi Arabia claim to combat in the Peninsula.

- Khashoggi's story now displays pretty well that the Saudi regime is not concerned about women’s rights, press freedom, due process, political pluralism, and individual freedom, but focused on perpetuating its control and subjugating its smaller Persian Gulf neighbours into vassal states. Saudi Arabia has never been a helpful partner in ensuring regional security and peace. Saudi and Persian Gulf Arab money have been absolutely essential in creating and arming ISIL and Al-Qaeda.

In the prevailing environment, it is silly to assume that Trump will ever upend the terms of the decades-long alliance between the United States and Saudi Arabia. US politicians, media figures and foreign policy elites - even those who have fawned over the authoritarian Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman – will never criticize the continuation of US-Saudi alliance. Quite the opposite, the US will continue to give the Saudis a blank check, politically and militarily, for nearly as long as it can last.

In between, in Washington who cares if the Saudis kidnapped, tortured and assassinated Khashoggi inside their consulate in Istanbul? After all, Saudi Ambassador Khalid Bin Salman has told the US that the consulate cannot provide video footage of the consulate because they only have livestreaming, not recorded video! Again, who cares if this is the only consulate in the world that doesn’t tape - and didn’t tape its own nefarious activity.

Therefore, don’t expect the White House to rush to judgment. Because all of this and more have already passed the smell test in Washington. This particular murder case will never call the relationship between Saudi Arabia and the United States into fundamental question because Trump says jobs would be at risk if arms sales to the country were halted.

posted by ZUKUNASHI at 10:29| Comment(0) | 国際・政治

米国がシリアにいる限り戦争は終わらない

RT2018/10/12
War in Syria won’t end while the US remains there – Lavrov to French media
The illegal US presence in Syria is one of the reasons why war there cannot end, especially since Washington is apparently trying to create a quasi-state on the eastern bank of the Euphrates, the Russian foreign minister said.

The pessimistic prediction about the future of Syria came from Sergey Lavrov in an interview he gave to RT France, le Figaro and Paris Match. Asked about a planned disarmament of jihadist forces in Idlib governorate by Turkey and whether it would be an end to the war, which has lasted for over seven years, the Russian officials said solving the Idlib debacle would by no means end the crisis.

“This story will only end when the Syrian people are back in control of Syria and when everyone involved, especially those who came there uninvited, leave,” Lavrov said. He added Idlib is not the last problematic place in Syria.

“There are large territories east of Euprates [river] where absolutely unacceptable things happen. The United States is trying to create a quasi-state there with the help of their allies, mostly Kurds,” he said.

Lavrov said Washington helps creating administrative bodies in areas under its control, provides aid and even considers them good enough to encourage refugees to go back there. This is in sharp contrast to how it treats areas controlled by Damascus, he said.

“I cannot exclude that the US are trying to keep the situation heated up in the region to ensure that everyone is on the edge. It’s easier for them to catch fish in the water they muddy. Such policies never ended well,” Lavrov warned.

The minister also dismissed accusations that Russia engages in all sorts of bad activities, including cyberattacks, meddling in elections and other things. He said the way such accusations are published through the media imply that the accusers are not interested in resolving whatever concerns they have about Russia.

“If our Western colleagues actually expect to put us out of balance with this hysterics, they have not been reading the right history books. If this is all just fuss, this fit of political rabbis will pass naturally. Once they have vented off everything they need to, we will be waiting for them for a serious professional discussion within a legal field, not a propagandistic chat,” he said.

Lavrov also criticized US officials for encouraging the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople to push for a church schism in Ukraine, saying it was not normal for secular authorities to get involved in church affairs.
posted by ZUKUNASHI at 09:05| Comment(0) | 国際・政治

2018年10月12日

Report: Japan Urges US to Make Sure Sanctions Not Hurting Trade with Iran

FARSNEWS2018/10/12
Report: Japan Urges US to Make Sure Sanctions Not Hurting Trade with Iran
TEHRAN (FNA)- Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso called on his US counterpart Steven Mnuchin to ensure that Japanese firms would not suffer from Washington's sanctions on Iran.

The Japanese minister told a press conference he had relayed to Mnuchin his

"I hope that Japan's concerns are addressed," Kyodo news agency quoted Aso as relaying to his US counterpart.

The US and Japanese finance ministers met in Bali, Indonesia, on the sidelines of a gathering of finance leaders from the Group of 20 major economies, which Mnuchin used to promote US sanctions snapping back against Iran's oil sector in about three weeks.

Japanese officials have said Iran's oil is "extremely important" to their country's energy security; Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) Hiroshige Seko said last month Japan "intends to have talks with the US tenaciously in order to continue Iranian crude oil imports".

US President Donald Trump has pledged to bring Iran's oil imports down to zero. On Thursday, he said the US "will take care" of countries which defy the directive.

"We will take care of them," Trump told reporters when asked about the decision of some countries like India and China to continue to purchase oil from Iran.

Indian Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said last Monday that two state refiners have placed orders for importing crude oil from Iran in November.


posted by ZUKUNASHI at 23:17| Comment(0) | 国際・政治

サウジの使節団がトルコ入り

RT2018/10/12
Saudi delegation arrives in Turkey for talks over missing journalist – reports
Saudi delegation has arrived in Turkey for talks over a missing journalist, Turkish state media reported on Friday. The delegation from Riyadh arrived in Turkey as part of an investigation into the disappearance of prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Reuters quoted two Turkish sources as saying on Friday. The previous day, Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said Ankara had accepted a Saudi proposal to form a joint working group to investigate the case of Khashoggi, who has been missing since last week.
posted by ZUKUNASHI at 22:56| Comment(0) | 国際・政治