World News

Iranian-American Man Sentenced in Saudi Ambassador Assassination Plot

An Iranian-American man has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for admitting he plotted to kill Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the United States.

Manssor Arbabsiar pleaded guilty in October to two conspiracy charges and a murder-for-hire count. The U.S. citizen who was born in Iran, said he was directed by Iranian military officials to go to Mexico on multiple occasions in 2011 to arrange the assassination attempt, which never occurred.

Iran denied any involvment in the plot.

During the sentencing hearing in New York, federal Judge John Keenan said Arbabsiar's role in the bizarre plot could not be "tolerated," and emphasized the need to send a message to those who might consider similar crimes.

Prosecutors said Arbabsiar intended to kill the ambassador by planting a bomb at a Washington restaurant and did not care the plan likely would result in mass casualties.

Arbabsiar lived in Texas, working in real estate and automobile sales since moving to the United States in 1977.

The government said Arbabsiar also told law enforcement officials he had demanded at least $1 million for his involvement in the plot from the Quds Force, a branch of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps that in 2007 was designated by the U.S. Treasury Department as a supporter of the Taliban and terrorist organizations.

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