Saudis urge UN to deplore plot to kill envoy

AP News
Posted: Nov 16, 2011 9:59 PM
Saudis urge UN to deplore plot to kill envoy

Saudi Arabia is pressing for a U.N. resolution that would "deplore" the alleged Iranian plot to kill the Saudi ambassador to the United States.

A draft resolution circulated by the Saudis and discussed with U.N. members behind closed doors Wednesday afternoon calls on Iran to cooperate in bringing to justice those responsible for planning and attempting to execute the alleged assassination attempt.

The United States charged in October that agents linked to Iran's Quds Force _ an elite wing of the powerful Revolutionary Guard _ were involved in a plot to kill Saudi Ambassador Adel al-Jubeir at his favorite restaurant in Washington. One of the two men charged in the plot, Manssor Arbabsiar, a U.S. citizen who holds an Iranian passport, has pleaded not guilty.

Javad Larijani, head of Iran's Human Rights Council, called the allegation of Iranian involvement in the plot "laughable," saying there is no evidence.

"The real plot is the American plot to destabilize the region, to create fear from Iran and to promote the military adventurism in the region," he said, adding that the Saudis "have fallen victim of this plot as well."

Larijani said Wednesday that the General Assembly should take into account U.S. intentions which hamper "the security of the region and the world."

U.S. spokesman Mark Kornblau said Ambassador Susan Rice strongly supported the Saudi draft resolution and that the United States will co-sponsor it.

He quoted Rice as calling it "a measured and focused response to Iran's chilling assassination plot."

The resolution to be voted on in the General Assembly would not be legally binding but would reflect the views of the 193 U.N. member states. Diplomats said the Saudi resolution could be put to a vote as early as Friday.

Saudi Arabia's former ambassador to the U.S., Prince Turki al-Faisal, who once served as the country's intelligence chief, told reporters in Washington on Tuesday that there was "ample and heinous" evidence that Iran was behind the assassination plot.

A U.S. criminal complaint accused Arbabsiar and Gholam Shakuri, who U.S. authorities said was a member of Iran's elite Quds Force, of hiring a would-be assassin in Mexico.

The man they hired was also a paid informant for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration who told U.S. authorities the details of the plot, which led to the arrest of Arbabsiar and charges against Shakuri, who is still at large.

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