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U.N. adopts resolution condemning alleged Iranian terror plot

By Joe Vaccarello, CNN
updated 5:12 PM EST, Fri November 18, 2011
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The resolution calls on Iran to prosecute two men accused in the plot
  • The alleged plot involved the planned assassination of the Saudi ambassador to the U.S.
  • Iran sharply criticized the resolution ahead of the vote

United Nations (CNN) -- The U.N. General Assembly adopted a resolution Friday condemning an alleged Iranian plot to kill the Saudi ambassador to the United States.

The resolution, which was introduced by Saudi Arabia, doesn't directly accuse Iran of involvement but calls on the country "to comply with all of its obligations under international law" and to cooperate in "seeking to bring to justice" the people who allegedly plotted to kill the envoy.

U.S. officials in October accused Manssor Arbabsiar, a 56-year-old naturalized U.S. citizen, and Gholam Shakuri, an Iran-based member of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, of conspiring to hire hit men from a Mexican drug cartel to bomb a restaurant where the Saudi ambassador would have been. Authorities developed the case against the suspects with the help of an undercover informant posing as an associate of a Mexican drug cartel, according to officials and an FBI agent's affidavit.

The United States has said Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps-Quds Force is behind the plot, but Iran denies the accusation.

Iranian Ambassador to the U.N. Mohammad Khazaee told the General Assembly before the vote that the resolution "is based on nothing but an unsubstantiated claim of one member state with a long history of animosity against my country that my government has already and strongly rejected." He called it "mind boggling" that such an allegation served as a basis for the resolution.

The U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice told the assembly, "while this resolution expresses our collective abhorrence at the known details of the plot, it also restates and reinforces principles that are essential to the functioning of diplomacy. It is a measured and appropriate response."

Rice added: "We cannot let this plot go answered -- to do so would suggest that acts like these are within the bounds of acceptable behavior to resolve international conflicts."

The vote was 106 in favor, nine against and 40 abstentions.

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