Obama Says Facts Support Accusation of Iranian Plot
President Obama on Thursday vowed to push for what he called the “toughest sanctions” to punish Iranian officials whom he accused of complicity in a suspected plot to kill the Saudi ambassador to the United States.
At the same time, State Department officials said United States officials had been in direct contact with the government of Iran over the accusations.
In his first public remarks on the issue since it was revealed on Tuesday, Mr. Obama sought to counter skepticism about whether Iran’s Islamic government directed an Iranian-American car salesman to engage with a Mexican drug cartel to assassinate Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the United States and carry out other attacks. Mr. Obama insisted that American officials “know that he had direct links, was paid by, and directed by individuals in the Iranian government.”
“Now those facts are there for all to see,” Mr. Obama said. “We would not be bringing forward a case unless we knew exactly how to support all the allegations that are contained in the indictment.”
The president said the administration had reached out to its allies and the international community to make its case. “We’ve laid the facts before them,” Mr. Obama said at a news conference conducted with the visiting South Korean president, Lee Myung-bak. “And we believe that after people have analyzed them, there will not be a dispute that this is in fact what happened…”