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

Turkey: No Ransom Paid for Release of Hostages Held by IS Militants

President Erdogan hails release of hostages as diplomatic success but declines to be drawn on whether their release freed Ankara's hand to take more active stance against insurgents More

Audio Sierra Leone Official Pleased With Ebola Containment Measure

Official says three-day sensitization effort will help reduce infection rate of Ebola disease nationwide More

US Pivot to Asia Demands Delicate Balancing Act

As the tumult in the Middle East distracts Obama, shifting American focus eastward appears threatened 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.
Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’i
X
Jeff Seldin
September 20, 2014 10:28 PM
Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid