ISSN 2330-717X

Iran Wants Access To Suspect In Saudi Death Plot

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(RFE/RL) — Iran is demanding access to the man being held in the United States in connection with an alleged plot to kill the Saudi ambassador.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry summoned the charge d’affairs of Switzerland — which represents U.S. interests in Iran — to demand consular access to Manssor Arbabsiar.

Arbabsiar, who holds both Iranian and American passports, was arrested by U.S. officials in September in an alleged plot to kill the Saudi Ambassador to the United States, Adel al-Jubeir.

U.S. officials say Arbabsiar had paid an undercover U.S. agent posing as a hit man for a Mexican drug cartel to assassinate the Saudi ambassador.

U.S. officials say Arbabsiar was given his orders by his cousin Abdul Reza Shahlai, a high-ranking member of the Quds Force, the Iranian security force.

Earlier, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei vowed a strong response to any “inappropriate measure by the West.” He accused Washington of concocting the plot to divert attention from the “Occupy Wall Street” protests.

Iran’s President Mahmud Ahmadinejad, meanwhile, dismissed the U.S. accusations as a fabricated “scenario.”

Quoted by Iran’s official news agency IRNA, Ahmadinejad said, “Iran is a civilized nation and doesn’t need to resort to assassination.”

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Meanwhile, media in Saudi Arabia report the country wants the UN Security Council to take up the matter, in a move analysts says could mean more sanctions imposed on Iran.

The Saudi step follows remarks by U.S. President Barack Obama that he would press for “the toughest possible sanctions” against Iran over the alleged plot.

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal said on October 12 that Iran “was responsible” for the alleged plot and said Riyadh would adopt a “measured response.”

RFE RL

RFE/RL journalists report the news in 21 countries where a free press is banned by the government or not fully established.

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