TEHRAN, Oct. 15 (Xinhua) -- Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said Saturday that the alleged Iranian involvement in a plot of assassinating the Saudi ambassador to the U.S. is "absurd" and "meaningless", the semi- official Mehr news agency reported.
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 Saudi Ambassador to Washington Adel Al-Jubeir.
These "absurd" and "meaningless" charges will further lead to U. S. global isolation, said Khamenei.
The U.S. claim is a plot and a propagandistic show which will end in isolating itself, he said while addressing a crowd in the city of Gilan-e Gharb in Iran's western province of Kermanshah.
They tried to find an excuse to mount a propaganda campaign to present Iran as the supporter of terrorism through leveling accusations against several Iranians, he said, adding but their plot fell flat like their other actions, he was quoted by Mehr as saying.
During the past days, Iranian authorities have dismissed the U. S. claim as fabrication but U.S. high ranking officials insisted on the authenticity of their evidences and said that they will work with their allies to pressure Iran.
U.S. President Barack Obama said on Thursday that there would be "no dispute" over the U.S. claim after they analyzed the facts.
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.
On Thursday, U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said the United States had "direct contact" with Iran over the alleged involvement of the Iranian government in a plot of assassination.
On Friday, the Iranian authorities denied that the United States had "direct contact" with Iran over the alleged involvement of the Iranian government in the assassination plot.
The press officer of Iran's Representative Office to the United Nations, Alireza Miryousofi, told Mehr on Friday that "No direct talks have been held between the two countries" over the alleged plot.
Later on Friday, the U.S. State Department dismissed Iran's denial on direct contact between the two countries over the alleged assassination plot.
"I will again confirm that we did meet with the Iranians. It was two days ago," State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said.
"They know that very well, and any efforts on their part to deny it speaks again to how truthful they are about any of these sorts of matters," she said.
Nuland said the U.S. had made it clear to Iran that the plot violated the U.S. and international law, and Iran would be held accountable.
David Cohen, U.S. Under Secretary of Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, said Friday at a hearing held by the House Foreign Affairs Committee that the U.S. is seeking multilateral support in an effort to impose additional sanctions on Iran's central bank.
"Yes, we are engaging in an effort to develop the multilateral support that would be, I think, critically important in having an action against the CBI (Central Bank of Iran) really be effective, " said Cohen.
"Further U.S. action against the CBI, if it attained multilateral support, could further isolate the CBI, with a potentially powerful impact on Iran," he warned.
Cohen said the U.S. has imposed comprehensive sanctions on Iran for almost two decades, including sanctions on the Central Bank of Iran.
"So there is no U.S. financial institution that has any dealings with the CBI, including the Federal Reserve," said Cohen, adding that the CBI is "essentially and completely cut off" from the U.S..
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. Full story
U.S. in direct contact with Iran over murder plot
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. Full story
U.S. allegation on assassination plot "lie": Iranian speaker
TEHRAN, Oct. 13 (Xinhua) -- Iran's Majlis (parliament) Speaker Ali Larijani said here Thursday the U.S. allegation that Iran is involved in a plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador in Washington is a "lie," the English-language satellite Press TV reported.
"The U.S. has one by one lost its allies during the revolutions in the region, and is resorting to such scenarios ... to divert attention from its failures," Larijani said at a meeting with visiting Sudanese presidential adviser Mustafa Osman Ismail. Full story