UN calls on Iran to aid Saudi envoy plot probe

UN calls on Iran to aid Saudi envoy plot probe

The Saudi-US resolution on the plot, which the United States has accused Iran of masterminding, was passed with 106 votes in favor, nine against and 40 abstentions. Iran has strongly denied involvement in the case.

After rebuffing attempts by Iran to get its name taken off the resolution, the 193-member General Assembly said it was "deeply concerned" by the alleged plot against Saudi envoy Adel al-Jubeir.

The resolution called on Iran "to comply with all of its obligations under international law" and "cooperate with states seeking to bring to justice all those who participated in the planning, sponsoring, organization and attempted execution of the plot."

Saudi Arabia did not directly accuse Iran. Its UN ambassador, Abdullah al Mouallimi, told the assembly however that Tehran had been implicated "in the confessions of the main culprit behind this plot.

"Justice demands that we give full opportunity to the Islamic Republic of Iran to come clean and prove its innocence if it is not involved in this plot," he said.

Iran's ambassador Mohammad Khazaee called the resolution "mind-boggling" as nobody had yet been found guilty in court of organizing a plot.

He said the action was "based on an unsubstantiated claim by a state which has a long history of animosity against my country" -- a reference to the United States.

Khazaee said the resolution risked "creating tension in international relations."
US ambassador Susan Rice said attacks on diplomats "have long been understood as emblematic acts of international terrorism."

"We cannot let this plot go unanswered. To do so would suggest that acts like these are within the bounds of acceptable behavior to resolve international conflicts," she told the assembly.

An Iranian-American, Manssor Arbabsiar, pleaded not guilty to involvement in the plot in a New York court last month. An Iranian, Gholam Shakuri, is still wanted and said to be in Iran.

Arbabsiar has allegedly said he organized the hit on behalf of a cousin, whom he described as a high-ranking officer in the Quds Force, a special operations unit of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards.