I never supported the nuclear deal, nor have I coddled the Iranian regime. I’ve made it clear that the ayatollah and his henchman are religious Nazis. Iran is destructive, destabilizing and hostile to the interest of America and its allies. The missiles Iran provides to the Houthis in Yemen pose a real threat to Saudi cities, freedom of navigation, and regional stability. No one’s hands are clean in the suffering of the Yemeni people, least of all Iran.
But left unchecked, Saudi Arabia’s recent behavior will help Iran by driving a wedge between the U.S. and our other Mideast allies. Lebanon, Jordan and others need assurance that America won’t bend to the whims of the crown prince. He is a wrecking ball to U.S.-Saudi relations.
Given the evidence U.S. intelligence has gathered on Khashoggi’s killing, denying the crown prince’s involvement amounts to willful blindness. Failing to censure him would give authoritarians a green light to murder their critics. To borrow a Churchill phrase, inaction wouldn’t only give the disturbing impression the U.S. has a price, but also that its price is quite low.