Terror plot against US furthers tension with Iran

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Jennifer Werner
jwerner2@radford.edu

An assassination-for-hire scheme backed by the Iranian government to bomb the US Embassy in D.C. targeting the Saudi Arabian ambassador to the United States was disrupted Tuesday, Oct. 11.

Rep. Ted Poe Republican-Texas told Fox News that the plot was, “an act of war” and an official from the State Department called the situation, “a flagrant violation of international law.”

The first diplomatic shot was fired Tuesday afternoon when the State Department imposed sanctions on five people that were allegedly linked to the plot. Four of those individuals are members of the Islamic special operations Revolutionary Guard Corps, Quds Force. Two of the five, Gholum Shakuri, a member of the revolutionary guard in Iran, and naturalized US citizen Manssor Arbabsiar, 56, were charged in a New York federal court Tuesday.

An FBI agents affidavit released Tuesday alleged that both Shakuri and Arbabsiar were charged with, “conspiracy to murder a foreign official, conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction and conspiracy to commit an act of terrorism,” said cnn.com

While Shakuri still remains at large, Arbabsiar was arrested in September after an undercover informant posed as a Mexican drug cartel associate and gathered information.

The same FBI affidavit stated that, “Arbabsiar and the undercover informant allegedly discussed using explosives to kill the ambassador and possibly attacking a crowded restaurant.”

Arbabsiar is alleged to have made a $100,000 down payment toward the informants $1.5 million price for the assassination.

“In addition to holding these individual conspirators accountable for their alleged role in this plot, the United States is committed to holding Iran accountable for its actions,” said US Attorney General, Eric Holder.

While in the midst of awaiting further details about the accusations, A spokesperson for Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad claimed that the accusations were a “fabrication.”

According to US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, there is much consideration toward taking action to further the isolation of the Iranian regime.