Iran denies “direct connection” with U.S.(UPDATE)
Azerbaijan, Baku, Oct. 14 / Trend , D.Khatinoglu /
Iran's Representative to the UN Mohammad Khazaei has never contacted with his U.S. counterpart Susan Elizabeth Rice directly, a spokesman of the Iranian mission to the structure told IRNA.
State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Thursday there's been "direct contact" between the U.S. and Iran. She gave no details, Washington Post reported.
"U.S. has had at least one direct conversation with Iran over allegations of a brazen assassination plot on U.S. soil", she said.
Separately, a U.S. official says the contact was made through Iran's United Nations mission in New York. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to describe sensitive diplomacy.
The two nations have no diplomatic relations and any direct contact is rare.
The U.S. says Iran was behind a foiled plot to kill the Saudi Arabian ambassador to the U.S.
Iran rejected the accusation, saying this is U.S. diversionary tactic.
U.S. federal prosecutors in New York charged two Iranians with plotting an assassination of the Saudi ambassador to the U.S., Adel Al-Jubeir on Wednesday.
Iranian Quds Force, an elite unit of the Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC)- has been accused of plotting assassination. IRGC denied any involvement of the Quds force in the plot alleged by the United States.
The pair were named as Manssor Arbabsiar, a 56-year-old naturalised US citizen with dual Iranian and U.S. passports, and Gholam Shakuri, who is based in Iran.
U.S. Attorney-General Eric Holder said on Wednesday the plot was masterminded, sponsored and directed from Iran, but declined to disclose details of the conspiracy and confirm that it was approved and ordered directly by Iranian authorities.
On Tuesday, the U.S. also imposed sanctions against five people it linked to the alleged assassination plot, including two men charged over the investigation, BBC reported.
Mr Shakuri and three others named in Tuesday's sanctions were described as members of the Quds Force.
Mr Arbabsiar - accused of wiring $100,000 (£63,000) to a U.S. bank account to finance the alleged $1.5m conspiracy - was charged in a New York City court on Tuesday.
U.S. officials have said the accused approached a U.S. informant posing as a member of a Mexican drug cartel to carry out the assassination.