Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, at a cabinet meeting Wednesday, condemned the killing of Saudi critic Jamal Khashoggi, saying perpetrating such a “heinous” crime would have been impossible without the support of the United States, a close Riyadh ally, PressTV reported.
Khashoggi entered the building on October 2 to obtain documentation certifying he had divorced his ex-wife. He was not seen since.
Saudi Arabia has said the Saudi critic died in a fight inside its Istanbul consulate – after two weeks of consistent denials that it had anything to do with his disappearance.
Turkish media have reported Khashoggi was killed and dismembered based on recordings from the consulate. They say he died at the hands of a 15-member assassination squad from Saudi Arabia.
“No one would imagine that in today’s world and in this century, we would witness such an organized murder, with an apparatus organizing such a heinous killing,” Rouhani said.
Rouhani further said, “I do not think that a country would dare commit such a crime without the support of the US,” which is accused of seeking to cover up Khashoggi’s killing and protect its allies in Riyadh.
In the first public comment Wednesday following evidence of Saudi critic Jamal Khashoggi‘s killing by top Saudi officials, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman called the killing a “heinous crime that cannot be justified”, Al Jazeera reported.
Rouhani called the case as a “big test” for the entire Western states, who considered themselves advocates of human rights.
“Undoubtedly, the positions which the US, Europe and other world countries adopt on the issue will reveal the degree of their sensitivity to [protecting] human rights and to preserving human dignity,” he said.
The Iranian president further noted that Khashoggi’s killing had been inspired ‘by the same ideology that created the Takfiri terror outfits’, such as Daesh in the region.
Iranian officials often use the word “takfiri” to describe Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) fighters.
“Committing such a crime shows how a wrong ideology could lead to deviation and this is the same ideology that has created terrorist groups such as Daesh in the region,” he said.
He also called on the Turkish government to conduct “precise and impartial” investigations to shed light on all dimensions of the “unprecedented” crime.
Rouhani further denounced the US backing for the Saudi-led military campaign on Yemen and the world’s silence on the brutal war.