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Britain, Canada Freeze Assets Over Alleged Iranian Plot


Manssor Arbabsiar is shown in this courtroom sketch during an appearance in a Manhattan courtroom in New York, New York on October 11, 2011.

Manssor Arbabsiar is shown in this courtroom sketch during an appearance in a Manhattan courtroom in New York, New York on October 11, 2011.

Britain and Canada have joined the United States and frozen the assets of five men in connection with the alleged Iranian plot to kill the Saudi ambassador to the United States.

U.S. authorities froze the assets of the five one week ago. Canada and Britain followed on Tuesday.

The men include the two Iranians that U.S. officials say have been charged with involvement in the plot, as well as another man Britain says is a Revolutionary Guard commander.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has accused the United States of fabricating the plot in order to cause a rift between Tehran and Saudi Arabia.

In an interview on Al-Jazeera television Monday, Mr. Ahmadinejad said the U.S. will achieve nothing by accusing Iran. He said the allegations also are meant to divert attention from U.S. economic problems.

He denied that the Islamic Republic and Washington are on a "collision course" toward military conflict, but he condemned what he called widespread American "interference" in regional affairs.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Monday he has received letters about the alleged plot from Iran, the U.S. and Saudi Arabia. He said he has forwarded the letters to the Security Council for its consideration.

Saudi Arabia's U.N. Ambassador Abdallah Al-Mouallimi said in a letter to Mr. Ban that the plot is not only a "heinous" crime, but also a gross violation of international norms with respect to the protection of diplomats.

The U.S. Justice Department announced last week that it had broken up an alleged Iranian plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the U.S., Adel al-Jubeir.

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