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

Jihadist Assassin says Goal of Tunisia Murders Was Chaos

Abu Muqatil at-Tunusi’s remarks in a propaganda interview also cast light on attack on Bardo Museum More

Russia Denies License to Tatar-Language TV Station in Crimea

OSCE official says denial shows 'politically selective censorship of free and independent voices in Crimea is continuing' More

Kenyan Startups Tackle Expensive Remittances Through Bitcoin

Some think services could give Western Union a run for its money, though others say it’s still got a long way to go 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.
For Obama, It's More Business Than Friendships With World Leadersi
X
Aru Pande
April 01, 2015 9:09 PM
The rift between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has put a spotlight on the importance of the American leader’s personal relationships with other world leaders and what role such friendships play in foreign policy. VOA's Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video For Obama, It's More Business Than Friendships With World Leaders

The rift between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has put a spotlight on the importance of the American leader’s personal relationships with other world leaders and what role such friendships play in foreign policy. VOA's Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video Buhari: Nigeria Has ‘Embraced Democracy’

Nigeria woke up to a new president-elect Wednesday, Muhammadu Buhari. But people say democracy is the real winner as the country embarks on its first peaceful handover of power since the end of military rule in 1999. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Abuja.
Video

Video Tiny Camera Sees Inside Blood Vessels

Ahead of any surgical procedure, doctors try to learn as much as possible about the state of the organs they plan to operate on. A new camera developed in the Netherlands can now make that easier - giving surgeons an incredibly detailed look inside blood vessels, all the way to the patient’s heart. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Latin American Groups Seek Fans at Texas Music Festival

Latin American music groups played all over Austin, Texas, during the recent South by Southwest festival, and some made fans out of locals as well as people from around the world who had come to hear music. Such exposure can boost such groups' image back home. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Stockton Community, Police, Work to Improve Relations

Relations are tense between minority communities and police departments around the United States following police shootings that have generated widely-publicized protests. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Stockton, California, where police and community groups are working toward solutions, with backing from Washington.
Video

Video Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedom

Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Report: State of Black America a 'Tale of Two Nations'

The National Urban League has described this year's "State of Black America" report as a "tale of two nations." The group's annual report, released earlier this month (March), found that under an equality index African Americans had only 72% parity compared to whites in areas such as education, economics, health, social justice and civic engagement. It’s a gap that educators and students at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College are looking to close. VOA's Daniela Schrier reports from the school.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials Underway in West Africa

Ebola has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people in West Africa. Since last summer, researchers have rushed to get anti-Ebola vaccines into clinical trials. While it's too early to say that any of the potential vaccines work, some scientists say they are seeing strong results from some of the studies. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More