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

Turbulent Transition Imperils Tunisia’s Arab Spring Gains

Critics say new anti-terrorism laws worsen Tunisia's situation while others put faith in country’s vibrant civil organizations, women’s movement More

Burundi’s Political Crisis May Become Humanitarian One

United Nations aid agencies issue warning as deadly violence sends tens of thousands fleeing More

Yemenis Adjust to Life Under Houthi Rule

Locals want warring parties to strike deal to stop bloodletting before deciding how country is governed 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.
Seoul Sponsors Korean Unification Fairi
X
Brian Padden
May 29, 2015 1:27 PM
With inter-Korean relations deteriorating over the North’s nuclear program, past military provocations and human rights abuses, many Koreans still hold out hope for eventual peaceful re-unification. VOA’s Brian Padden visited a “unification fair” held this week in Seoul, where border communities promoted the benefits of increased cooperation.
Video

Video Seoul Sponsors Korean Unification Fair

With inter-Korean relations deteriorating over the North’s nuclear program, past military provocations and human rights abuses, many Koreans still hold out hope for eventual peaceful re-unification. VOA’s Brian Padden visited a “unification fair” held this week in Seoul, where border communities promoted the benefits of increased cooperation.
Video

Video Purple Door Coffeeshop: Changing Lives One Cup at a Time

For a quarter of his life, Kevin Persons lived on the street. Today, he is working behind the counter of an espresso bar, serving coffee and working to transition off the streets and into a home. Paul Vargas reports for VOA.
Video

Video Modular Robot Getting Closer to Reality

A robot being developed at Carnegie Mellon University has evolved into a multi-legged modular mechanical snake, able to move over rugged surfaces and explore the surroundings. Scientists say such machines could someday help in search and rescue operations. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Shanghai Hosts Big Consumer Electronics Show

Electronic gadgets are a huge success in China, judging by the first Asian Consumer Electronics Show, held this week in Shanghai. Over the course of two days, more than 20,000 visitors watched, tested and played with useful and some less-useful electronic devices exhibited by about 200 manufacturers. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Forced to Return Home, Afghan Refugees Face Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.

VOA Blogs