US seeks Security Council support for Iran action

12th October 2011, Comments 0 comments

The United States on Wednesday sought UN Security Council support for action to hold Iran "accountable" for an alleged plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to Washington, diplomats said.

US ambassador Susan Rice held separate meetings with other envoys on the 15 nation council. Britain and France have already indicated they would back the US moves.

Rice "is holding individual consultations with members of the UN Security Council today to brief them on the plot and solicit their support in holding Iran accountable," a US official said on condition of anonymity.

It was not immediately clear whether the United States would seek a Security Council condemnation or some other action over the alleged plot which Iran has strongly denied.

"We are taking it step-by-step," said a US diplomat.

The US Justice Department on Tuesday charged two men with conspiring with Iranian officials to assassinate Saudi ambassador to the United States Adel al-Jubeir.

Iran, which faces four rounds of UN Security Council sanctions over its nuclear program, called the US allegations part of an "evil plot" against the Islamic Republic, and in a letter of protest to the UN Security Council accused Washington of "warmongering."

Russia's UN ambassador Vitaly Churkin called the case "rather bizarre" in comments to reporters. US allies France and Britain have already said Iran should face measures.

"For France, this is an extremely serious affair, an outrageous violation of international law, and its perpetrators and backers must be held accountable," French foreign ministry spokesman Bernard Valero said in Paris on Wednesday.

Britain would support "measures to hold Iran accountable for its actions," said a spokesman for British Prime Minister David Cameron.

The spokesman called the alleged plot "shocking".

"The United Kingdom is in close touch with the US authorities on this case. We will support measures to hold Iran accountable for its actions."

"We congratulate the US authorities on the successful operation to disrupt a conspiracy to attack diplomats in the United States," the spokesman said.

© 2011 AFP

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