Britain Freezes Assets Over Alleged Iranian Plot

Posted October 18th, 2011 at 7:25 am (UTC-5)
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Britain has frozen the assets of five men in connection with the alleged Iranian plot to kill the Saudi ambassador to the United States.

The men include the two Iranians that U.S. officials say have been charged for involvement in the plot, as well as another man Britain says is a Revolutionary Guard commander.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has accused the United States of fabricating the plot in order to cause a rift between Tehran and Saudi Arabia.

In an interview on Al-Jazeera television late Monday, Mr. Ahmadinejad said the U.S. will achieve nothing by accusing Iran, and said the allegations are also meant to divert attention from U.S. economic problems.

He denied that the Islamic Republic and Washington are on a “collision course” toward military conflict, but he condemned what he called widespread American “interference” in regional affairs.

Earlier Monday, the state-run IRNA news agency said Iranian Foreign Minister Ali-Akbar Salehi has urged the U.S. to present Iran with any existing documents in the case.

Iran has denied the allegations, and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Sunday that any “inappropriate” political or security-related action by the U.S. on the issue will bring a “decisive response.”

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Monday he has received letters about the alleged plot from Iran, the U.S. and Saudi Arabia. He said he has forwarded the letters to the Security Council for its consideration.

Saudi Arabia's U.N. Ambassador Abdallah Al-Mouallimi said in a letter to Mr. Ban that the plot is not only a “heinous” crime, but also a gross violation of international norms with respect to the protection of diplomats.

The highest-ranking U.S. senator on intelligence matters, Diane Feinstein, told Fox News Sunday that U.S. authorities have collected ample evidence showing the involvement of Iran's elite Quds force in the plot.

The U.S. Justice Department announced last week it had broken up an alleged Iranian plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the U.S., Adel al-Jubeir.

The U.S. held a face-to-face meeting with Iranian officials about the alleged plot in order to make it “absolutely clear” that Washington considers such behavior “unacceptable” and a violation of U.S. and international law.