US demands Iran be punished for Saudi envoy plot

The United States has urged the world to take concerted action against Iran for an alleged plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador on American soil.

Washington: The United States has urged the
world to take concerted action against Iran for an alleged
plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador on American soil,
calling it a "dangerous escalation."

Tehran has accused the United States of fabricating the
charges to distract from domestic economic woes amid growing
anti-Wall Street protests, while some experts have voiced
doubts that the plot was hatched by Iran`s leaders.

Secretary of State Hillary rallied support for tough new
measures against Iran, although it was not immediately clear
what they might be.

"We call upon other nations to join us in condemning this
threat to international peace and security," Clinton urged
yesterday.

This plot was "a flagrant violation of international and
US law, and a dangerous escalation of the Iranian government`s
longstanding use of political violence and sponsorship of
terrorism.

"This kind of reckless act undermines international norms
and the international system. Iran must be held accountable
for its actions."

The US Treasury meanwhile slapped sanctions on Mahan Air,
a Tehran-based commercial airline accused of ferrying around
the Middle East members of Iran`s Islamic Revolutionary Guards
Corps implicated in the plot.

The airline`s assets in the United States were frozen and
US citizens were barred from doing business with the firm.

US President Barack Obama called King Abdullah of Saudi
Arabia to reaffirm ties in the wake of what the White House
called an "Iranian-directed conspiracy to assassinate the
Saudi Arabian Ambassador in Washington, DC."

Iran strongly denied any involvement in what the US says
was a plot by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards` elite Quds
force to kill the Saudi ambassador by hiring assassins from a
Mexican drug cartel for USD 1.5 million.

PTI

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