Suspect Pleads Not Guilty in Saudi Murder Plot

Manssor Arbabsiar says US invented the plot as a political tool
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 24, 2011 11:30 AM CDT
This courtroom drawing shows Manssor Arbabsiar during his Arraignment at Federal Court in New York October 11, 2011.   (Getty Images/AFP)

(Newser) – The Iranian-American accused of conspiring to kill the Saudi Arabian ambassador to the US pleaded not guilty today at a federal court. Manssor Arbabsiar, 56, faces charges of conspiracy to murder a foreign official, conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction, and conspiracy to commit an act of terrorism, among others. The AP reports that Arbabsiar had previously admitted his role in a criminal complaint.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad maintains that the US made up the alleged plot in an effort to heighten tensions between Saudi Arabia and his country, Reuters reports, noting that the Obama administration believes Ahmadinejad was likely kept in the dark about the plot. For more on Arbabsiar's case, click here.

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