WASHINGTON, Oct. 13 (Xinhua) -- The United States has had "direct contact" with Iran over the alleged involvement of the Iranian government in a plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to Washington, U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said on Thursday.
"We have had direct contact with Iran on this issue," Nuland said at a regular news briefing.
She declined to offer more details, saying only that she believed the contact took place on Wednesday in a place other than Iran.
"We are not prepared at the moment to go any further on the question of who spoke to whom, and where, but just to confirm that we have had direct contact with Iran," she explained.
On Tuesday, the U.S. Justice Department alleged that two men, Manssor Arbabsayar, a 56-year-old U.S. citizen holding both the Iranian and U.S. passports, and Gholam Shakuri, an Iranian citizen, were charged with sponsoring and promoting terrorist activities abroad, including a plot to kill the Saudi Ambassador to Washington Adel Al-Jubeir.
The U.S. authorities said that three other men, all senior officers like Shakuri from the Quds Force, an elite division of Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps responsible for foreign operations, were involved in the plot.
U.S. President Barack Obama said on Thursday that there would be "no dispute" over U.S. claim after people have analyzed the facts before them.
He called the plot "not just a dangerous escalation," but "part of a pattern of dangerous and reckless behavior by the Iranian government," vowing to seek the "toughest sanctions" against Iran.
Obama vows to apply "toughest sanctions" on Iran after plot revelation
WASHINGTON, Oct. 13 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama on Thursday vowed to apply the "toughest sanctions" on Iran and to garner international support to further isolate the Islamist state in the wake of the revelation of an alleged plot to assassinate Saudi ambassador to Washington.
What "we're going to continue to do is to apply the toughest sanctions and continue to mobilize the international community to make sure that Iran is further and further isolated and pays a price for this kind of behavior," Obama said at the joint press conference with visiting South Korean President Lee Myung-bak. Full story
Iran's IRGC rejects U.S. claims over alleged assassination plot
TEHRAN, Oct. 13 (Xinhua) -- Deputy Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC) Brigadier General Hossein Salami called the U.S. accusation over its alleged plot to assassinate Saudi ambassador as "hilarious and baseless," the local satellite Press TV reported on Thursday.
On Tuesday, the U.S. authorities said that two men, Manssor Arbabsayar, a 56-year-old U.S. citizen holding both the Iranian and U.S. passports, and Gholam Shakuri, an Iranian citizen, were charged with sponsoring and promoting terrorist activities abroad, including a plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the United States. Full story