U.N. chief Ban sends Iran plot case to Security Council
BERNE (Reuters) - U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Monday he has passed to the U.N. Security Council correspondence about U.S. suspicions of Iran's involvement in an alleged plot to kill the Saudi ambassador in Washington.
"I have received correspondence from the United States, Iran and also the Saudi government,"
The United States said last Tuesday it had uncovered a plot by two men with links to Iran's security forces to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the United States, Adel al-Jubeir, by planting a bomb in a Washington restaurant. The Iranian government denies any involvement.
One of the men, who allegedly paid a U.S. undercover agent posing as a Mexican drug cartel hitman to carry out the assassination, has been arrested while the United States says the other is in Iran.
Ban declined to comment on whether Iran was likely to face further sanctions. President Barack Obama has promised to press for "the toughest possible sanctions" against Iran, and said he would not take any options off the table.
However, Iran's leadership claimed the allegation had been engineered to further isolate Tehran -- whose disputed nuclear program has triggered several rounds of international sanctions against it.
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Saturday the alleged plot was a "meaningless and nonsensical accusation."
(Reporting by Caroline Copley)
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