US plot a 'major escalation' in Iran terror sponsorship: UK

13th October 2011, Comments 0 comments

British Foreign Secretary William Hague said Thursday that an alleged Iranian-backed plot to kill the Saudi envoy to the United States is a "major escalation in Iran's sponsorship of terrorism."

Hague said London was in "close touch" with US authorities and would work to agree an international response along with the United States, European Union and Saudi Arabia to the US charges, which Tehran denies.

"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 Corps' Quds Force," Hague told the House of Commons.

"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 US authorities and will work to agree an international response, along with the US, the rest of the EU and Saudi Arabia."

Iran has strongly denied any involvement in an alleged plot by the Revolutionary Guards' elite Quds Force to kill the Saudi ambassador by hiring assassins from a Mexican drug cartel for $1.5 million.

US authorities on Tuesday named two principal suspects: Manssor Arbabsiar, a used-car salesman who is a naturalised US citizen and is now under arrest, and Gholam Shakuri, said to be an Iran-based member of the Quds Force believed to be in Iran.

© 2011 AFP

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