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US Accuses Iranians of Plotting to Kill Saudi Envoy

Tuesday, 11 October 2011 10:02 By J David Goodman, The New York Times News Service | Report

Federal authorities foiled a plot by men linked to the Iranian government to kill the Saudi ambassador to the United States and to bomb the embassies of Saudi Arabia and Israel in Washington, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said in a news conference on Tuesday.

The men accused of plotting the attacks were Manssor Arbab Arbabsiar and Gholam Shakuri, according to court documents filed in federal court in the Southern District of New York. Both men are originally from Iran, Reuters reported.

There is “no basis to believe that any other co-conspirators are present in the U.S.,” Mr. Holder said.

He said the men were connected to the secretive Quds Force, a division of Iran’s elite Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps that has carried out operations in other countries. He said that money in support of the plot had been transferred through a bank in New York, but that the men had not yet obtained any explosives.

Mr. Shakuri is still at large, according the Reuters. Mr. Arbabsiar, a naturalized American citizen, was arrested in late September.

Mr. Holder said the Mexican government had been instrumental in the investigation.

Iran reacted immediately to the news, calling the accusations a fabrication.

A spokesman for the National Security Council said that the plot had first been brought to President Obama’s attention earlier this year.

“The President was first briefed on this issue in June and directed his Administration to provide all necessary support to this investigation,” he said in a statement. “The disruption of this plot is a significant achievement by our intelligence and law enforcement agencies, and the president is enormously grateful for their exceptional work in this instance and countless others.”

J David Goodman

J. David Goodman is a reporter for The New York Times


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US Accuses Iranians of Plotting to Kill Saudi Envoy

Tuesday, 11 October 2011 10:02 By J David Goodman, The New York Times News Service | Report

Federal authorities foiled a plot by men linked to the Iranian government to kill the Saudi ambassador to the United States and to bomb the embassies of Saudi Arabia and Israel in Washington, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said in a news conference on Tuesday.

The men accused of plotting the attacks were Manssor Arbab Arbabsiar and Gholam Shakuri, according to court documents filed in federal court in the Southern District of New York. Both men are originally from Iran, Reuters reported.

There is “no basis to believe that any other co-conspirators are present in the U.S.,” Mr. Holder said.

He said the men were connected to the secretive Quds Force, a division of Iran’s elite Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps that has carried out operations in other countries. He said that money in support of the plot had been transferred through a bank in New York, but that the men had not yet obtained any explosives.

Mr. Shakuri is still at large, according the Reuters. Mr. Arbabsiar, a naturalized American citizen, was arrested in late September.

Mr. Holder said the Mexican government had been instrumental in the investigation.

Iran reacted immediately to the news, calling the accusations a fabrication.

A spokesman for the National Security Council said that the plot had first been brought to President Obama’s attention earlier this year.

“The President was first briefed on this issue in June and directed his Administration to provide all necessary support to this investigation,” he said in a statement. “The disruption of this plot is a significant achievement by our intelligence and law enforcement agencies, and the president is enormously grateful for their exceptional work in this instance and countless others.”

J David Goodman

J. David Goodman is a reporter for The New York Times


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blog comments powered by Disqus