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Iranian accused of plot claims backing by Saudis

An Iranian jailed for his part in a plot to overthrow Iran's Islamic government implicated Saudi Arabia in the attempt, the national news agency IRNA reported.

Ahmad Abassi, son-in-law of Iran's second-ranking religious leader, Ayatollah Kazem Shariat-Madari, said in an interrogation on television that Saudi authorities had promised their full support for the plot.

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He said Hojatolislam Mahdavi-Kani, a representative of Ayatollah Shariat-Madari, had met with Saudi Arabia's second deputy prime minister, Prince Abdullah, to tell him of the plot. Both Mr. Abassi and Hojatolislam Mahdavi-Kani are being tried by a military court and face possible death sentences. Iran says the plot, uncovered this month, was masterminded by former Iranian Foreign Minister Sadeq Ghotbzadeh, who was arrested April 7.

Prince Abdullah had said his country would give asylum to Ayatollah Shariat-Madari and provide facilities for an uprising against Iranian rulers, according to Mr. Abassi.

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