Some lawmakers call for tougher US action against Iran
Azerbaijan, Baku, Oct. 15 /Trend/
U.S. lawmakers called for senior Obama administration officials on Friday to step up the pressure on Iran, after an alleged Iranian plot was foiled to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the United States, Voice of America reported.
Several members of Congress complained that sanctions against Iran do not appear to be working, and that stronger action is required.
President Barack Obama has said the United States will continue to apply the toughest sanctions possible against Iran, and will not take any options off the table.
Treasury Undersecretary David Cohen said the administration is considering new sanctions targeting the Central Bank of Iran, and he said it is well aware of the threat.
"This is a dramatic reminder that the urgent and serious threat we face from Iran is not limited to Iran's nuclear ambitions," said Cohen.
Earlier this week, the U.S. authorities said they had broken up plans by two men linked to Iranian Quds Force - a special unit of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) - to assassinate Saudi Ambassador to Washington Adel al-Jubeir.
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.
Iran denies the allegations saying the U.S. uses this tactic to slander again Iran. The IRGC also rejected any involvement of the Quds force in the plot alleged by the United States.
The two detainees are Manssor Arbabsiar, a 56-year-old naturalised US citizen with dual Iranian and U.S. passports, and Gholam Shakuri, who is based in Iran.
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.
Iran and Saudi Arabia, a U.S. ally, are regional rivals. The U.S. and its allies accuse Iran of using its civilian nuclear program as a cover to develop nuclear weapons and are putting pressure to abandon it. Iran has denied the charges, saying its nuclear program is aimed at generating electricity and producing isotopes to treat medical patients.
Edited by T.Konyayeva.