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U.S. Names Iranians in Alleged Assassination Plot

As if relations between Tehran and Washington weren’t troubled enough, Tuesday brought news of a purported plan by Iranian government operatives to kill one Adel al-Jubeir, Saudi ambassador to the United States. The alleged bomb plot was shut down by American authorities after two agents apparently recruited the wrong third party to help their cause, unknowingly zeroing in on a DEA informant in Mexico for a consultation about explosives.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton helpfully noted that this latest development didn’t improve Iran’s diplomatic standing with the Obama administration, and Attorney General Eric Holder chimed in with his equally obvious point that the plot flew in the face of U.S. and international law. And now, more key details from The Associated Press’ report. –KA

AP via Google News:

Alizreza Miryusefi, the press attache at Iran’s mission to the United Nations, said Tuesday that the accusation was “totally baseless” and that a full statement would be issued shortly.

Manssor Arbabsiar, a 56-year-old U.S. citizen who also holds an Iranian passport, was charged along with Gholam Shakuri, who authorities said was a Quds Force member and is still at large in Iran. The complaint filed in federal court says Arbabsiar confessed that his cousin, Abdul Reza Shahlai, was a high-ranking member of the Quds Force who told him to hire someone in the narcotics business to target Al-Jubeir and that Shakuri was his cousin’s deputy who helped provide funding for the plot.

Arbabsiar, Shakuri and Shahlai and two others were sanctioned Tuesday by the Treasury Department for their involvement in the alleged plot.

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