The US plans to take up the plot at the United Nations Security Council, according to one US official. That course of action suggests not only that the Obama administration assigns a high level of seriousness to the plot and its ramifications, but also that the US will favor a diplomatic response, at least initially.
The allegations, spelled out by US Attorney General Eric Holder at a Washington press conference Tuesday, point the finger at officials in Iran’s Al Quds Force, which US and Western intelligence experts consider to be the militant wing of the Iranian military. By tying the plot to “factions of the Iranian government,” Mr. Holder underscored the US position that the Iranian regime was behind the plan.
Iran will be held “accountable,” Holder said, before specifying that retaliatory actions would be announced shortly by the White House, State Department, and Treasury.
The alleged plot – which Justice Department officials claim never got past early planning stages, based on telephone and informant conversations –envisioned planting a bomb in a favorite Washington restaurant of Saudi Ambassador Adel al-Jubeir. Other ideas allegedly discussed included attacks on the Saudi and Israeli embassies in Washington.
Representatives of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad quickly reacted to the allegations, calling them “a frabrication.”