Iranian-American due to be arraigned over Saudi plot
Azerbaijan, Baku, Oct. 24 /Trend/
Manssour Arbabsiar accused of plotting to get Mexican gangsters to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to Washington is due to be arraigned over Saudi plot on Monday, the AFP reported.
Two weeks earlier, 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 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.
Arbabsiar, a 56-year-old naturalized US citizen with dual Iranian and U.S. passports, was arrested last month at New York's John F. Kennedy international airport.
He and co-defendant Gholam Shakuri, who is based in Iran and is at large now, allegedly conspired to "kill the Ambassador to the United States of Saudi Arabia, while the Ambassador was in the United States," according to court documents.
According to the US Justice Department and the FBI, Arbabsiar confessed after his arrest to trying to contract a Mexican drug cartel to assassinate the Saudi envoy, Adel al-Jubeir, possibly through the bombing of a Washington restaurant.
He allegedly said he organized the hit on behalf of his cousin, whom he described as a high-ranking officer in the Quds Force, a shadowy special operations unit of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards.
US officials said they became aware of the plot because Arbabsiar's contact in the cartel was in fact a paid FBI informant.
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 European Union has slapped sanctions on five Iranians in connection with the plot including Arbabsiar and Shakuri, diplomats said. The measures included a freezing of their assets.
Edited by T.Konyayeva.