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

    Saudi Arabia’s New Female Politicians in the Other Room 

    Many in Saudi Arabia say elected representatives should share unsegregated spaces; according to a recent survey, more than half the Saudi population, both men and women, prefer to work in a segregated place

    Russia Not ‘Apologetic’ for Syria Airstrikes

    With Moscow criticized for targeting armed opponents of President Assad, Russia’s UN envoy says his country ‘acting in a very transparent manner’

    Pakistan Warns of Islamic State's Growing Reach

    Aftab Sultan, General Director General of Intelligence Bureau (IB), briefed Senate Committee in closed hearing, saying that IS-linked groups have been expanding in Pakistan

    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.
    Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growthi
    X
    February 10, 2016 5:54 AM
    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Civil Rights Pioneer Remembers Struggle for Voting Rights

    February is Black History Month in the United States. The annual, month-long national observance pays tribute to important people and events that shaped the history of African Americans. VOA's Chris Simkins reports how one man fought against discrimination to help millions of blacks obtain the right to vote
    Video

    Video Jordanian Theater Group Stages Anti-Terrorism Message

    The lure of the self-styled “Islamic State” has many parents worried about their children who may be susceptible to the organization’s online propaganda. Dozens of Muslim communities in the Middle East are fighting back -- giving young adults alternatives to violence. One group in Jordan is using dramatic expression a send a family message. Mideast Broadcasting Network correspondent Haider Al Abdali shared this report with VOA. It’s narrated by Bronwyn Benito
    Video

    Video Migrant Crisis Fuels Debate Over Britain’s Future in EU

    The migrant crisis in Europe is fueling the debate in Britain ahead of a referendum on staying in the European Union that may be held this year. Prime Minister David Cameron warns that leaving the EU could lead to thousands more migrants arriving in the country. Meanwhile, tension is rising in Calais, France, where thousands of migrants are living in squalid camps. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clowns

    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Families Flee Aleppo for Kurdish Regions in Syria

    Not all who flee the fighting in Aleppo are trying to cross the border into Turkey. A VOA reporter caught up with several families heading for Kurdish-held areas of northern Syria.
    Video

    Video Rocky Year Ahead for Nigeria Amid Oil Price Crash

    The global fall in the price of oil has rattled the economies of many petroleum exporters, and Africa’s oil king Nigeria is no exception. As Chris Stein reports from Lagos, analysts are predicting a rough year ahead for the continent’s top producer of crude.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.