Iranian plot condemned around the world

October 14, 2011

U.S. President Barack Obama commented yesterday on an alleged Iranian plot to assassinate Saudi Ambassador to the U.S. Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir. “We believe that even if at the highest levels there was not detailed operational knowledge, there has to be accountability with respect to anybody in the Iranian government engaging in this kind of activity,” he said. Speaking at a joint news conference with visiting South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak, Obama said that the U.S. was sharing information with world leaders with the aim of isolating Iran.

Since the plot was revealed last week, a number of countries and organizations have issued condemnations.

In a statement delivered at the 57th session of the Saudi Majlis Al-Shura (consultative council), Vice Speaker Dr. Bandar bin Mohammed Hajjar called the attempted assassination a flagrant violation of international conventions, diplomatic norms and Islamic principles. He said that the plot has revealed a deep grudge by its perpetrators against the Kingdom, as a result of Saudi Arabia’s leading role in maintaining regional and international security. Dr. Hajjar rejected all attempts to destabilize the Kingdom or to threaten Saudi officials abroad. He called upon the international community to condemn the terrorist plot and to take action against those who support terrorism.

Addressing the British House of Commons, British Foreign Secretary William Hague said of the allegations, “This would appear to constitute a major escalation in Iran’s sponsorship of terrorism outside its borders.” He added, “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.” Hague also noted that there are “indications that this deplorable plot was directed by elements of the Iranian regime, with the involvement of senior members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corp’s Quds Force.”

French Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bernard Valero said in a statement, “France considers this attempt a very dangerous matter and a blatant breach of international law.”

The German government expressed satisfaction that U.S. authorities were able to stop the terrorist attack from being carried out. In a statement, German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle expressed his country’s deep concern about reports received from Washington regarding the incident and called upon Iran to provide a comprehensive explanation and to bring the perpetrators to justice.

A brief statement on the incident from Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s office stated, “If the facts are confirmed, they would constitute a grave responsibility which could bring about serious consequences.”

The government of Mexico, where the plotters allegedly tried to hire a hitman, issued a statement saying, “Mexico reiterates its full commitment to preventing and combating terrorism through international cooperation and condemns any attempt by any individual, group or international actor that may seek to carry out actions of such a nature while in Mexico, in accordance with domestic law and with bilateral agreements currently in effect.”

A statement issued by the Japanese Foreign Ministry said that it is viewing the issue with "grave concern." It commented that the “accusations are a serious issue, and the Government of Japan will find it deeply regrettable if the U.S. allegations of a plot to assassinate the Saudi Ambassador by Mansour Arbabsiar, a U.S. resident, and Ali Gholam Shakuri, a member of the Qud’s Force of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, were proven to be true.”

Speaking to reporters, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin stated, “We are paying attention to reports and reactions on this matter. In managing international relations, China always upholds respect for national law and relevant standards of conduct.” He added, “We are committed to the protection of diplomatic personnel and call on all sides to engage in dialogue to solve this problem and maintain stability in the Middle East and the Persian Gulf.”

Bahrain denounced the plot in the strongest words, saying that such an act contradicts all human values and ethics. In a statement carried by the Bahraini News Agency, the government voiced absolute support for the Kingdom, declaring that it views any attack against Saudi Arabia as an attack on Bahrain. The foiled plan, it said, is further evidence of Iran’s lack of respect for diplomatic norms. For its part, Bahrain’s Shoura Council expressed full solidarity with Saudi Arabia, a country it characterized as vital to Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states’ strategic depth and defense.

Kuwaiti Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed Sabah Al-Salam Al-Sabah commented, “Kuwait categorically rejects and condemns in the strongest words the hideous terrorist attempt [and] hopes that all details of the event be revealed to the public and its mastermind be exposed so that it – be they organizations or persons – should pay the price.” Furthermore, he added, Kuwait will support Saudi Arabia’s future steps in this regard.

Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh released a press statement condemning the targeting of Saudi officials. He stressed that the security of the Kingdom is a red line that cannot be crossed and insisted that whoever is behind the “heinous” plot must be brought to justice to receive the proper punishment.

During an extraordinary meeting in Cairo, the Arab League Council adopted a statement denouncing the plot and any scheme targeting diplomats as “acts of terrorism.” The declaration read, “Such terrorist plots constitute a flagrant violation of international law and the conventions governing state-to-state relations, notably the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961.” Furthermore, such acts “undermine the efforts aiming to establish peace and stability in the Middle East and other parts of the world, thus impacting negatively on Arab-Iranian ties, particularly GCC-Iranian relations.”

Finally, the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) released a communiqué declaring that this heinous, criminal endeavor runs counter to Islamic teachings and values and demanding that the masterminds be brought to justice. Additionally, ISESCO expressed surprise that such a scheme could be orchestrated by one ISESCO member state against another, especially against a nation that plays a lead role in promoting joint Islamic action and supporting Islamic organizations.

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