US: Iranians Plotted to Kill Saudi Envoy in DC

One man arrested; another is at large
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 11, 2011 2:02 PM CDT
Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the US, Adel al-Jubeir, speaks to the media during the Mideast conference in Annapolis, Md., in 2007.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

(Newser) – The US has accused two men of attempting to kill the Saudi ambassador to the US and attack the Saudi and Israeli embassies in Washington at the behest of “factions of the Iranian government.” One of the men, named Manssor Arbabsiar, was arrested on Sept. 29, but his apprehension was announced only today, MSNBC reports. The other suspect, who was identified as Gholam Shakuri, is still at large, Eric Holder said.

Both men are from Iran, though Arbabsiar is a naturalized US citizen. Arbabsiar has confessed to the plot, saying he was working for the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard, according to the attorney general. The government learned of the plot when Arbabsiar allegedly attempted to ask Mexico’s Zeta drug cartel for help in the assassination—and unwittingly contacted an undercover DEA agent. Arbabsiar allegedly sent the agent $50,000 as a downpayment for the hit, and promised the Zetas “tons of opium” from Iran.

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