News / Middle East

Iran Rejects US Claims of Saudi Plot

Iranian women walk past an anti-U.S. mural on the wall of the former U.S. embassy in Tehran, Iran, October 12, 2011.
Iranian women walk past an anti-U.S. mural on the wall of the former U.S. embassy in Tehran, Iran, October 12, 2011.
Elizabeth Arrott

Iranian officials have strongly denounced U.S. allegations of a Tehran-linked plot to kill a Saudi diplomat in the United States. Some in Iran are arguing that the case has been fabricated to provoke a military confrontation with the Islamic Republic.

The reaction from Tehran has been swift and categorical. A foreign ministry statement drove home the denials, condemning the U.S. claims as baseless and warning against the repetition of what it called "politically motivated allegations."

Saeed Laylaz, a political analyst in Tehran, said the case will take already fraught relations between the U.S. and Iran to a whole new level.


Laylaz said even ahead of this accusation, he saw the possibility of a military confrontation between the two countries. He said he imagines the latest incident is potentially laying the groundwork for a U.S. propaganda campaign against Iran.  

That sentiment was echoed on the streets of Tehran.

City resident Sadeghian, who did not give his first name, argued that U.S. sanctions against Iran failed, so Washington is looking for other ways to create a bad image of his country to present to the world.

Other residents in the Iranian capital placed the blame elsewhere.

Javad Foroozan called the incident "a plot by the Zionists and Saudi Arabia."

Saudi Arabia said Wednesday that Iran must "pay the price" for the alleged plot to kill the Saudi ambassador in Washington. It wants to take the matter before the United Nations.

Saudi Arabia has long had a rivalry with its non-Arab, mainly Shi'ite neighbor. The Sunni-led kingdom has accused Iran of plotting against it in the past, and according to leaked U.S. diplomatic cables, King Abdullah has wanted the U.S. to "cut off the head of the snake" - a reference to Iran.

Tensions between Iran and the Saudis have only increased with the popular uprisings across the region this year, in particular when Saudi forces backed the suppression of a largely Shi'ite revolt in Bahrain.

As for "Zionists" - a term often used in Iran to mean archenemy Israel - accusations by Tehran against Israel are so common that it's hard to gauge the seriousness of this current charge.

But Iran is not alone in raising questions about the U.S. claims.

Associate Editor Max Fisher of The Atlantic spoke to VOA via Skype, saying, “It's certainly plausible that Iran might want to assassinate a Saudi official, but this kind of operation is pretty serious in size and scope, and the ramifications it would have for Iran's policy. And it's just not clear what they would get out of it. It's not clear why they would want to blow up the Saudi ambassador to the U.S. And, in fact, there are reasons to believe it would go against Iran's interests.”

Top among those reasons, he argued, is that U.S.-Saudi relations, currently frayed over such issues as Bahrain, would be strengthened in a show of solidarity, something that could only hurt Iran.

You May Like

Pundits Split Over Long-Term US Role in Afghanistan

Security pact remains condition for American presence beyond 2014; deadline criticized More

US Eyes Islamic State Threat

Officials warn that IS could pose a threat to US homeland More

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Moscow says Russian troops crossed into Ukrainian territory by mistake 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.
Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocksi
X
George Putic
August 25, 2014 4:00 PM
How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that was eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports on how one band is bringing Yiddish tango to Los Angeles.
Video

Video Peace Returns to Ferguson as Community Tries to Heal

Thousands of people nationwide are expected to attend funeral services Monday in the U.S. Midwestern city of St. Louis, Missouri, for Michael Brown, the unarmed African-American teenager who was fatally shot by a white police officer August 9 in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson. The shooting touched off days of violent demonstrations there, resulting in more than 100 arrests. VOA's Chris Simkins reports from Ferguson where the community is trying to move on after weeks of racial tension.
Video

Video Meeting in Minsk May Hinge on Putin Story

The presidents of Russia and Ukraine are expected to meet face-to-face Tuesday in Minsk, along with European leaders, for talks on the situation in Ukraine. Political analysts say the much welcomed dialogue could help bring an end to months of deadly clashes between pro-Russia separatists and Ukrainian forces in the country's southeast. But much depends on the actions of one man, Russian President Vladimir Putin. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Artists Shun Russia's Profanity Law

Russia in July enacted a law threatening fines for publicly displayed profanity in media, films, literature, music and theater. The restriction, the toughest since the Soviet era, aims to protect the Russian language and culture and has been welcomed by those who say cursing is getting out of control. But many artists reject the move as a patronizing and ineffective act of censorship in line with a string of conservative morality laws. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video British Fighters on Frontline of ISIS Information War

Security services are racing to identify the Islamic State militant who beheaded U.S. journalist James Foley in Syria. The murderer spoke English on camera with a British accent. It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for the Islamic State, also called ISIL or ISIS, alongside thousands of other foreign jihadists. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from the center of the investigation in London.

AppleAndroid