Iran demands access to accused US plotter
Iran demanded consular access on Sunday to a man held in the United States over a suspected plot to kill the Saudi ambassador and vowed to respond robustly to any “inappropriate measure” by the West.
Manssor Arbabsiar, who holds U.S. and Iranian citizenship, was arrested in September over the plot which Tehran called a fabricated “comedy show” but which U.S. lawmakers said was “very real” and showed the need for tougher sanctions on Iran.
“Any inappropriate measure against Iran, whether political or security-related, will be strongly confronted by the Iranian nation,” Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said, accusing Washington of inventing the plot to divert attention from the “Occupy Wall Street” protests.
U.S. authorities announced the plot last Tuesday, saying Arbabsiar, a naturalised U.S. citizen, had paid a U.S. undercover agent posing as a Mexican drug cartel hit man to assassinate Saudi Ambassador Adel al-Jubeir.
Many experts, and some Washington officials, expressed doubts over the plot, which even the head of the FBI said sounded like a Hollywood script, but the heads of the intelligence committees in the U.S. Congress appeared on television on Sunday to say it should be taken seriously.
Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein said she was initially sceptical when first briefed about the plot in September but now believed “it’s very real”…