The US administration imposed sanctions on those directly involved in the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, following the release of the US intelligence report on his murder case, while House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called on the government of her country to re-evaluate the relationship with Saudi Arabia.
And the US Treasury Department imposed sanctions on Major General Ahmed Asiri, former deputy chief of Saudi intelligence, and the Saudi Rapid Intervention Force for their involvement in the Khashoggi assassination.
Bloomberg stated that the administration of US President Joe Biden is in the process of identifying a list that includes 76 Saudis who may be subject to sanctions under what it calls "Khashoggi's policy," adding that Washington is looking forward to imposing accountability measures for the killing of the Saudi journalist.
The site reported that the State Department sent a fact sheet to US lawmakers announcing a new policy of imposing visa restrictions for individuals who act on behalf of a foreign government, and are believed to be directly involved in anti-opposition activities outside of regional borders.
Biden (right) told King Salman that Washington will hold Riyadh accountable for human rights violations (agencies)
Accountability for violations
In the context, US President Joe Biden said that he had made clear to Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz that the rules were changing and that Washington would unveil major changes on Friday and Monday.
Biden indicated - in an interview with "Univision" - that he told King Salman that Washington will hold Riyadh accountable for human rights violations, and that it must address these violations if it wants to deal with the American administration.
For his part, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken called for an end to what he described as Saudi Arabia's assault on activists, dissidents and journalists.
He added that Washington will not tolerate that.
The US State Department also announced that the United States has directives that its annual human rights reports include the activities of all governments targeting dissidents, journalists, and activists.
The State Department drew attention to what President Biden said, clearly, "that the relationship of the United States with Saudi Arabia should reflect American values."
For her part, the Director of US National Intelligence Avril Haines said - in statements to the American "NPR" radio - that it is not surprising to see a transformation in US-Saudi relations under a new administration.
Al-Asiri is the most prominent of those on whom the US sanctions were imposed (Al-Jazeera)
For its part, the Saudi Foreign Ministry expressed its "categorical rejection" of what was stated in the US intelligence report regarding Khashoggi's killing, noting that "the partnership between the Kingdom and the United States is a strong and solid partnership."
The Saudi Foreign Ministry considered that the American report "included abusive and incorrect conclusions about the kingdom's leadership that could not be accepted."
The Saudi Foreign Ministry rejected any matter that would affect the leadership, sovereignty and independence of the Kingdom, confirming what was issued by the competent authorities in Saudi Arabia that the crime constituted a flagrant violation of the Kingdom's laws and values, and was committed by a group that violated all regulations and violated the powers of the agencies in which they were working.
The Saudi Foreign Ministry clarified that final court rulings were issued against the group, and that the Khashoggi family welcomed them.
Pelosi confirmed that Congress supports the steps the administration is taking to hold Saudi Arabia accountable (Getty Images)
In turn, US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that the US government should reassess and control the relationship with Saudi Arabia, given the results of the National Intelligence Agency’s report on the killing of Jamal Khashoggi.
She added that Congress supports the steps the administration is taking to hold Saudi Arabia accountable, including with regard to the Magnitsky Act.
Pelosi revealed that Democratic lawmakers will introduce legislation to honor Khashoggi with penalties for those who commit serious violations of journalists.
She said that Saudi Arabia should know that the world is watching what it described as its disturbing actions and that the United States will hold it accountable.