Wknd. KTBuzzon Inspired Living Indulge City Times KT Mobile KT ePaper KT Competitions Subscribe KT
Khaleej Times
Khaleej Times Google Plus Page Khaleej Times Facebook Page Khaleej Times Twitter Page Khaleej Times on Instagram
  Inspired Living
  Parent Talk
  Used Cars
Home > International
Print this story
Russia and China react cautiously on Iran plot

(AP) / 14 October 2011

UNITED NATIONS — America’s allies said Thursday that U.S. evidence of an Iranian plot to kill Saudi Arabia’s ambassador in Washington is convincing, but Russia and China reacted cautiously.

Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, briefed top envoys from the 14 other Security Council nations Wednesday as part of a U.S. diplomatic campaign to use the alleged plot as a springboard for increased international condemnation of Iran and, perhaps, for new sanctions.

The allies said the evidence presented by Rice clearly showed the involvement of Iranian officials — but left unanswered the question of whether Iran’s top political and religious leaders knew about the plot.

“It’s very credible and very convincing,” France’s U.N. Ambassador Gerard Araud told reporters Thursday. “Obviously, there were officials in Iran who were behind the plot, but I don’t know to which level.”

Colombia’s U.N. Ambassador Nestor Osorio said it looks like “a very serious case” which his country condemned.

“I don’t know how far (up) it goes, but that there was a plot to assassinate the Saudi Arabian ambassador is what is in the evidence,” he said. “I don’t think it was a set up. I can’t think about that.”

Germany’s U.N. Ambassador Peter Wittig called it “a very, very serious matter.” Germany’s Foreign Ministry demanded an explanation of the allegations from the Iranian government, saying “those who took part in the attack plans and their backers must be held accountable.”

But Russian and Chinese diplomats reacted cautiously when asked whether they found the evidence presented by Rice and other U.S. officials to be credible.

“I’m not an expert, but we’re going to look at it very, very seriously,” Russia’s U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin told reporters. “We have sent all the information received to Moscow. There will be contacts, and they’ll look at it very seriously.”

China’s deputy ambassador Wang Min said only, “they’re still investigating, right?”

A U.S. criminal complaint accused two Iranians of hiring a would-be assassin in Mexico — who also was a paid informant for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. The informant told U.S. authorities the details of the plot, which led to the arrest of Manssor Arbabsiar, a 56-year-old U.S. citizen who also holds an Iranian passport, and charges against Gholam Shakuri, who U.S. authorities said was a member of the elite Quds Force and is still at large.

The United States immediately imposed sanctions against the two men and three other Quds Force members in Iran.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton hinted strongly Wednesday that the Obama administration wants further action from the U.N. Security Council. It already has imposed four rounds of sanctions on Iran over its disputed nuclear program and failure to suspend uranium enrichment.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague told the House of Commons in London on Thursday that the plot “would appear to constitute a major escalation in Iran’s sponsorship of terrorism outside its borders.”

“We are in close touch with the U.S. authorities and will work to agree an international response, along with the U.S., the rest of the EU and Saudi Arabia,” he said.

France’s Araud said it will be up to the United States to decide what the response should be “following this horrendous action.”

“France will be fully supportive of the American initiative,” he said.

Print this story
comments powered by Disqus