News / USA

Clinton: Plot Shows 'Dangerous Escalation' of Iran's Terrorism Role

Sketch of Manssor Arbabsiar in a Manhattan courtroom, New York, Oct. 11, 2011.
Sketch of Manssor Arbabsiar in a Manhattan courtroom, New York, Oct. 11, 2011.

The United States is urging tightened  sanctions against Iran following exposure of an alleged assassination plot that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said shows a "dangerous escalation" of Iranian involvement in terrorism.  The Tehran government continues to vigorously deny that it plotted to kill the Saudi ambassador to Washington.

The Obama administration has launched a wide-ranging diplomatic effort to fulfill its pledge to hold Iran accountable for its alleged role in a plot to kill Saudi Ambassador to Washington Adel al-Jubeir.

A day after the Justice Department announced criminal charges in the case, U.S. diplomats reached out to governments around the world to increase pressure on Iran, including tighter enforcement of U.N. sanctions already in place against Tehran.

U.S. officials say an Iranian-American in Texas, working with an official of the elite Quds Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps, sought to engage a Mexican drug cartel to stage a bomb attack in a Washington restaurant to kill the influential Saudi envoy.

The Iranian-American, Manssor Arbabsiar, was dealing with a U.S. informant posing as a Mexican drug gang member, and was arrested last month - averting what officials here say would have been a "massive act of terror."

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton greets audience member after speaking on American global leadership, Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2011, in Washington.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton greets audience member after speaking on American global leadership, Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2011, in Washington.

In a Washington speech Wednesday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the alleged conspiracy, directed by elements of the Iranian government, was an act of recklessness.

"This plot, very fortunately disrupted by the excellent work of our law enforcement sand intelligence professionals, was a flagrant violation of international and US law, and a dangerous escalation of the Iranian government's long-standing use of political violence and sponsorship of terrorism," said Clinton.

Clinton urged other countries to join in condemning what she termed "this threat to international peace and security" and said the United States will work with partners to increase pressure on, and the isolation of the Tehran government.

The State Department called in Washington-based diplomats to brief them on details of the case, while U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice had similar meetings with envoys of U.N. Security Council member states.

Clinton telephoned Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Mexican Foreign Minister Patricia Espinosa - thanking the latter for Mexico's cooperation in foiling the plot.

State Department Spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said U.S. officials have not decided whether to seek new international sanctions on Tehran, and that existing ones are having an impact.

"Its economy has not been growing," said Nuland. "We see measures of increasing desperation to try to circumvent sanctions and measures like this. But again, as I've said, we believe all countries should look hard at how they can tighten sanctions, how they can enforce sanctions, and whether sanctions are well enforced to the limits of their own national laws."

Within hours after disclosure of the alleged conspiracy, the Treasury Department announced targeted sanctions against five figures in the case including four officials of the Quds force.

Treasury Wednesday also penalized an Iranian commercial airline, Mahan Air, it said supports the Quds Force and the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah.

The White House meanwhile said the plotting clearly involved senior levels of the Quds Force, but spokesman Jay Carney declined to say if U.S. officials believe knowledge extended higher into the Iranian government.

Iran continued to call the plotting allegations baseless with the Tehran government filing a protest with the Swiss government, which represents U.S. interests in Iran.

Secretary Clinton discussed the issue here with the Swiss Ambassador to Tehran Livia Leu Agosti. In the meeting, scheduled before the alleged plot was made public, Clinton thanked the Swiss envoy for her role in gaining the release of three American hikers detained by Iran.

You May Like

Turkey's Erdogan: Women Not Equal to Men

Speaking at conference in Istanbul, President Erdogan says Islam has defined a position for women: motherhood More

Ahead of SAARC Summit, Subdued Expectations

Some regional analysts say distrust between Pakistani, Indian officials has slowed SAARC's progress over the year More

Philippines Leery of Development on Reef Reclamation in S. China Sea

Chinese land reclamation projects in area have been ongoing for years, but new satellite imagery reportedly shows China’s massive construction project 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.
Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Changei
X
November 24, 2014 10:09 PM
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid