Conflict & Justice

Iran ready to "investigate" assassination plot charges


In this handout photo provided by the Nueces County Sheriff's Department, Manssor Arbab Arbabsiar is seen in this 2001 mug shot. Arbabsiar, along with Gholam Shakuri, was charged October 11, 2011 with plotting to killing the Saudi Arabian Ambassador to the U.S. and to bomb the Israeli and Saudi Arabian embassies in Washington DC. The U.S. alleges that Arbabsiar, a naturalized U.S. citizen originally from Iran, is linked to the Quds Force, a faction of Iran's Revolutionary Guards.


Nueces County Sheriff's Office

Iran's Foreign Minister said Monday that his country is ready to "investigate" U.S. charges that its government had ties to a plot to murder the Saudi Ambassador to the United States, The Washington Post reports.

“We are ready to patiently investigate any issue, even if it is fabricated,” Ali Akbar Salehi told the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency, according to the Post. “We also asked America to give us the information related to this scenario."

According to the Post, Salehi and other Iranian officials have continued to say that Iran had nothing to do with the plot, which U.S. officials revealed last week.

ABC News reports that the Islamic Republic News Agency also paraphrased Salehi warning Saudi officials to be "cautious towards such U.S. scenarios."

More from GlobalPost: U.S. says Iranians behind plot to assassinate Saudi ambassador

Meanwhile, CNN reports that Iran is demanding consular access to the one suspect in the plot that the U.S. has in custody. According to a statement put out by the Iranian Foreign Ministry, the demand was discussed with a diplomat from Switzerland.

"Iran's Foreign Ministry reiterated that any delay by the United States in facilitating consular contact with the Iranian national would be contrary to the logic of international law and the United States' obligations," the statement said.

A senior U.S. administration official told CNN that Iran will be granted access to the prisoner if it formally requests it.

U.S. officials announced last week that two men, including an Iran-based member of Iran’s Qods Force, had been charged in the plot. Manssor Arbabsiar, a 56-year-old naturalized U.S. citizen, was arrested in New York in late September. Both men were charged with conspiracy to murder a foreign official as well as a number of other charges.

On Thursday, President Barack Obama told reporters that Arbabsiar "had direct links, was paid by, and directed by individuals in the Iranian government."