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

Video Egyptian Journalists Call for Press Freedom

Despite release of al-Jazeera journalists and others, Egyptian Journalist Syndicate says some remain imprisoned More

Turkey Survey Indicates Traditional Distrusts, Shift to the West

Comprehensive public opinion survey also found a large majority of those interviewed distrust all countries other than country’s neighbor, Azerbaijan More

Pakistan Court Upholds Death Sentence in Blasphemy Killing

Highest court upholds sentence of Mumtaz Qadri convicted of 2011 killing a provincial governor for criticizing country’s controversial blasphemy law More

This forum has been closed.
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.
Making a Minti
October 07, 2015 4:17 AM
While apples, corn, and cranberries top the list of fall produce in the US, it’s also the time to harvest gum, candy, and toothpaste—or at least the oil that makes them minty fresh. Erika Celeste reports from South Bend, Indiana on the mint harvest.

Video Making a Mint

While apples, corn, and cranberries top the list of fall produce in the US, it’s also the time to harvest gum, candy, and toothpaste—or at least the oil that makes them minty fresh. Erika Celeste reports from South Bend, Indiana on the mint harvest.

Video Activists Decry Lagos Slum Demolition

Acting on a court order, authorities in Nigeria demolished a slum last month in the commercial capital, Lagos. But human rights activists say the order was illegal, and the community was razed to make way for a government housing project. Chris Stein has more from Lagos.

Video Self-Driving Cars Getting Closer

We are at the dawn of the robotic car age and should start getting used to seeing self-driving cars, at least on highways. Car and truck manufacturers are now running a tight race to see who will be the first to hit the street, while some taxicab companies are already planning to upgrade their fleets. VOA’s George Putic has more.

Video TPP Agreed, But Faces Stiff Opposition

President Barack Obama promoted the Trans-Pacific Partnership on Tuesday, one day after 12 Pacific Rim nations reached the free trade deal in Atlanta. The controversial pact that would involve about 40 percent of global trade still needs approval by lawmakers in respective countries. Zlatica Hoke reports Obama is facing strong opposition to the deal, including from members of his own party.

Video Clinton Seeks to Boost Image Before Upcoming Debate

The five announced Democratic party presidential contenders meet in their first debate next Tuesday in Las Vegas, Nevada. Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton continues to lead the Democratic field, but she is getting a stronger-than-expected challenge from Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.

Video Music Brings Generations Together

When musicians over the age of 50 headline a rock concert, you expect to see baby boomer fans in the audience. Boomer rock stars have boomer fans. Millennial rock stars have millennial fans. But this isn’t always the case. Take the Lockn’ Music festival which took place in mid-September in rural Arrington, Virginia. Here, Jacquelyn de Phillips discovered two generations of people who are considered quite different in the outside world, spending 4 days together in music-loving harmony.

Video Ukranian Artist Portrays Putin in an Unusual Way

As Russian President Vladimir Putin was addressing the United Nations in New York last month, he was also being featured in an art exhibition in Washington. It’s not a flattering exhibit. It’s done by a Ukrainian artist in a unique medium. And its creator says it’s not only a work of art - it’s a political statement. VOA’s Tetiana Kharchenko has more.

Video South Carolina Reels Under Worst-ever Flooding

South Carolina is reeling from the worst flooding in recorded history that forced residents from their homes and left thousands without drinking water and electricity. Parts of the state, including the capital, Columbia, received about 60 centimeters of rain in just a couple of days. Authorities warn that the end of rain does not mean the end of danger, as it will take days for the water to recede. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europe

European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

VOA Blogs