News / Middle East

UN Members Condemn Alleged Iranian Plot on Saudi Official

In this photo released by the U.S. Marshals Service, the booking photo of Manssor Arbabsiar is shown. According to U.S. officials, Arbabsiar, 56, has admitted his role in a $1.5 million plot to kill Saudi ambassador to the U.S., Adel Al-Jubeir, at a Washi
In this photo released by the U.S. Marshals Service, the booking photo of Manssor Arbabsiar is shown. According to U.S. officials, Arbabsiar, 56, has admitted his role in a $1.5 million plot to kill Saudi ambassador to the U.S., Adel Al-Jubeir, at a Washi
Margaret Besheer

The U.N. General Assembly has overwhelmingly condemned Iran for an alleged plot to assassinate Saudi Arabia’s ambassador in Washington.

It sounded like something out of a novel. Last month U.S. officials charged that agents linked to Iran’s powerful Al Quds force were plotting to kill Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to the United States, Adel al-Jubeir, at a Washington restaurant.

One of the men charged in the scheme - an Iranian with U.S. citizenship - was arrested and has pleaded not guilty. A second man is believed to be in Iran and has not been apprehended.

The two allegedly hired a man they believed to be a member of a Mexican drug cartel to carry out the attack - either through a bombing or gunning the ambassador down. But the would-be assassin also was an informant on the payroll of U.S. authorities and told them the details of the plot, stopping it before it could play out.

Outraged, Saudi Arabia brought a resolution before the 193 members of the U.N. General Assembly Friday condemning terrorism in all its forms, and specifically deploring the alleged plot. It was co-sponsored by more than 50 other member states.

The resolution, which is not binding, was adopted by a vote of 106 in favor, nine opposed and 40 abstentions. It calls upon Iran to comply with all of its obligations under international law - particularly in regard to cooperating with international efforts to bring those involved in the plot to justice.

Saudi Ambassador Abdullah Al-Mouallimi told the General Assembly that the resolution was balanced, and despite evidence pointing to the involvement of Iran or one of its agencies, did not directly condemn either.

Through a translator, the ambassador said, “Justice demands that we give full opportunity to the Islamic Republic of Iran to come clean and to prove its innocence if it is not involved in this plot. This issue is either of two probabilities only: either Iran is confident of its innocence and can refute all the allegations directed to it, in which case it should respond to this call in a confident and serene manner, and to do that as soon as possible. Or, alternatively, Iran or one of its organs or one of its citizens is involved in the plot; in which case it is only natural it will deny and try to avoid assuming its responsibilities.”

Ambassador Al-Mouallimi told reporters after the vote that there is “overwhelming evidence” to implicate elements related to, working for or belonging to Iran’s Revolution Guards Corps in the plot. He said that evidence includes a taped confession, recorded conversations, a trail of money, as well as other intelligence.

Iran’s U.N. Ambassador Mohammad Khazaee objected to the resolution as it was drafted and offered several amendments, which the assembly overwhelmingly voted down. The Iranian envoy said bringing this matter before the General Assembly set a “dangerous precedent” for settling political scores.

“This allegation which is now the basis of this draft resolution is yet another plot, not against the Saudi ambassador, but a plot against my country, and another step along same well known path. Against this backdrop it should not be acceptable for any of us that this General Assembly, too, be used for advancing a political agenda against a member state,” said Khazaee.

U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice said attacks on diplomats - who are considered internationally protected persons - are acts of terrorism. She welcomed Friday’s resolution as a “measured and appropriate response” and noted that a fair judicial process is underway in the United States to prosecute the one suspect who is in custody.

Relations between Sunni Muslim Saudi Arabia and Shiite Iran have been tense for a number of years as the two oil-rich powers look to expand and solidify their supremacy in the region.

Join the conversation on our social journalism site - Middle East Voices. Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

US Firms Concerned About China's New Cyber Regulations

New rules would require technology companies doing business in financial sector to hand over their source code, adopt Chinese encryption algorithms More

WHO Focus on Ebola Shifts to Ending Outbreak

Focus to be less on building facilities and more on efforts to find infected people, manage their cases, engage with communities and ensure proper burials More

US Scientist Who Conceived of Groundbreaking Laser Technology Dies

Charles Townes, Nobel laureate, laser co-creator paved way for other scientific discoveries: CDs, eye surgery, metal cutters to name a few technologies that rely on lasers More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Webi
X
January 29, 2015 9:58 AM
Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video As Ground Shifts, Obama Reviews Middle East Strategy

The death of Saudi Arabia’s king, the collapse of a U.S.-friendly government in Yemen and a problematic relationship with Israel’s leadership are presenting a new set of complications for the Obama administration and its Middle East policy. Not only is the U.S. leader dealing with adversaries in Iran, the Islamic State and al-Qaida, but he is now juggling trouble with traditional allies, as White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long-distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures - for now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Saved By a Mistake - an Auschwitz Survivor's Story

Dagmar Lieblova was 14 when she arrived at Auschwitz in December 1943, along with her entire Czech Jewish family. All of them were to die there, but she was able to leave after several months due to a bureaucratic mix-up which saved her life. Now 85, with three children and six grandchildren, she says she has a feeling of victory. This report by Ahmad Wadiei and Farin Assemi, of RFE/RL's Radio Farda is narrated by RFE’s Raymond Furlong.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid