The Obama administration has begun its effort to further isolate Iran internationally by instructing U.S. diplomats abroad to inform foreign authorities about an alleged Iranian plot to assassinate Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the United States.
U.S. officials said Wednesday that the State Department had sent a cable to all American embassies and consulates around the world asking them to lay out the case against Iran to their host governments. The officials said the cable classified as secret and written by Deputy Secretary of State William Burns, tells diplomats to provide the evidence against Iran as presented by federal prosecutors.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to describe the classified cable.
U.S. authorities said on Tuesday they had broken up a plot by two men linked to Iran's security agencies to assassinate Saudi Ambassador Adel al-Jubeir. One was arrested last month while the other was believed to be in Iran.
U.S. President Barack Obama called the alleged plot a "flagrant violation of U.S. and international law" and Saudi Arabia said it was "despicable."
The United States said Tehran must be held to account and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expressed hope that countries that have hesitated to enforce existing sanctions on Iran would now "go the extra mile."
The State Department issued a three-month worldwide travel alert for American citizens, warning of the potential for anti-U.S. action, including within the United States.
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