Despite Joe Biden’s past promises to sanction Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman over the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki claims the US will instead use “more effective” methods.

The Biden administration’s decision to sanction a number of Saudi officials, but not the Crown Prince himself, was made after an intelligence community report released on Friday accused the Prince of approving the capture and killing of Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul in 2018.

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Psaki appeared on CNN’s ‘State of the Union’ on Sunday to defend the decision to let the prince off, telling host Dana Bash that the US had “more effective” methods of reprimanding the Saudi royal.

“Historically,” she said, “there have not been sanctions placed on leaders of foreign governments where we have diplomatic relations and even where we don’t have diplomatic relations.

“We believe there is more effective ways to make sure this doesn’t happen again and to also be able to leave room to work with the Saudis,” Psaki said. “That is what diplomacy looks like.”

Despite Psaki’s appeal to precedent, Joe Biden promised tough action against the young prince, known as MBS for short, on the campaign trail. At a debate against then-president Trump in October, Biden vowed that he would make Saudi Arabia a “pariah” over the Khashoggi killing, that the Saudi royals had “very little social redeeming value,” and would “pay a price” for the slaying.

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Psaki remained tight-lipped on what methods may be used against MBS, and Biden told reporters that there would be an announcement on Monday “about what we’re going to be doing with Saudi Arabia generally” as he left the White House on Saturday.

Though condemned by human rights advocates for their disproportionate impact on innocent citizens of the countries they target, sanctions are a well-used tool in the US’ diplomatic arsenal, beloved by Democrats and Republicans alike. The Donald Trump administration liberally sanctioned Iran, Venezuela, China, North Korea, Syria, Cuba and Russia, and even prosecutors at the International Criminal Court. (RT)