In an official statement, the Islamic Republic has denied any involvement in the alleged plot to assassinate Adel Al-Jubeir, the Saudi ambassador to the U.S.
ISNA reports that in a letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Iran says it has investigated the alleged Iranian suspect, who the Americans claim is currently in Iran, and concluded that he is in fact a member of an exiled dissident group, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran, and is currently living in the U.S.
Washington says the suspect, Gholam Shakouri, is a member of the Qods Force, the international arm of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps.
Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi previously had announced that officials had investigated Shakouri at the behest of INTERPOL and concluded that he is member of the PMOI, the dissident group that has been actively fighting against the Iranian government since the early days of the Islamic Republic, and he is currently residing in the U.S.
Last month, U.S. authorities accused the Iranian government of being involved in a failed plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the U.S. They had already arrested Mansour Arbabsier, an Iranian-US citizen living in America, in connection with the case. He is charged with offering professional killers $1.5 million to assassinate Adel Al-Jubeir.
Arbabsier appeared in court on Oct. 24 and pleaded not guilty.
In addition to Arbabseir and Shakouri, U.S. authorities have accused Abdolreza Shahlai, Hamed Abdollahi and Ghassem Soleymani, all members of Qods Force, of involvement in the case. Together with the EU, the United States has imposed sanctions against all five suspects, which includes freezing assets and travel bans.
Iran has accused the U.S. of threatening international peace and security with “a baseless political and media show.”