|The US alleges agents linked to Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guard were behind a plot to assassinate al-Jubeir [EPA]|
The UN General Assembly has overwhelmingly approved a resolution deploring the alleged plot to kill Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the United States.
The 193-member world body did not directly accuse Iran of involvement in the resolution passed on Friday, but it called on the Islamic Republic to comply with international law requiring protection of diplomats and to cooperate in bringing those responsible for the assassination plot to justice.
The United States charged in October that agents linked to Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guard were involved in a plot to kill Saudi Ambassador Adel al-Jubeir at his favorite restaurant in Washington.
A US criminal complaint accused Mansour Arbabsiar and Gholam Shakuri, who the US said was a member of Iran’s elite Quds Force, of hiring a would-be assassin from a Mexican drug cartel.
Arbabsiar pleaded not guilty to involvement in the plot in a New York court last month. Shakuri is still wanted and said to be in Iran.
Arbabsiar has allegedly said he organised the hit on behalf of a cousin, whom he described as a high-ranking officer in the Revolutionary Guard.
Iran, which has vehemently denied any involvement and called the allegations “laughable,” tried to have all references to the Islamic Republic removed from the Saudi-sponsored resolution. But it received support from less than a dozen countries, and its attempts to amend the Saudi draft were soundly defeated.
The General Assembly then approved the resolution by a vote of 106-9, with 40 abstentions. Those joining Iran in voting “no” were Armenia, Bolivia, Cuba, North Korea, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Venezuela and Zambia.
Introducing the resolution, Saudi Arabia’s UN Ambassador Abdullah al-Mouallimi said “enough is enough” with attacks on diplomatic personnel, but Riyadh was “not seeking to insult Iran or any other country.”
“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.
Iranian Ambassador Mohammad Khazaee told the assembly the resolution was “based on nothing but an unsubstantiated claim of one member state,” referring to the the United States.