Trump discussed Iran, human rights with Saudi crown prince

U.S. intelligence believes the crown prince ordered the killing, which Saudi officials deny.

By REUTERS
April 10, 2019 10:02
1 minute read.
Trump discussed Iran, human rights with Saudi crown prince

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince and Minister of Defense Mohammed bin Salman attends a signing ceremony between US President Donald Trump and Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (not pictured) at the Royal Court in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia May 20, 2017. (photo credit: REUTERS)

US President Donald Trump spoke with Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman by phone on Tuesday, discussing Riyadh's role in Middle East stability, maintaining pressure on Iran and the importance of human rights issues, the White House said.

Washington's Middle East ally faces rising pressure over its handling of the war in Yemen and moves to stifle internal dissent, including the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and prosecution of women's rights activists.
A bipartisan chorus of U.S. lawmakers has called on the White House to harden its stance toward Saudi Arabia after Khashoggi was killed at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.


US intelligence believes the crown prince ordered the killing, which Saudi officials deny.


Trump has said the US partnership with Saudi Arabia is important for the US economy and maintaining stability in the region.


The U.S. State Department on Monday publicly designated 16 people for their role in Khashoggi's death and said they and their families would be barred from entering the United States.


The United States on Monday also designated Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist organization, drawing an angry reaction from Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Tuesday.


The White House said Trump used the call with the crown prince to discuss ways of "maintaining maximum pressure against Iran." Saudi Arabia is leading a coalition battling Iranian-backed Houthi insurgents in Yemen.


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