UN Resolution Condemns Iran Plot to Kill Saudi Envoy to U.S.

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The UN General Assembly on Friday condemned an alleged plot - blamed by U.S. authorities on Iranian agents - to kill Saudi Arabia's envoy to the United States and urged Iran to obey international law.

A resolution passed with 106 votes in favor, nine against and 40 abstentions did not specifically blame Iran, which has denied involvement, for the alleged assassination plan.

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, center, addressing a meeting at UN headquarters, Oct. 20, 2011.Credit: AP

But it urged Tehran "to comply with all of its obligations under international law" by cooperating with investigations.

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U.S. authorities said last month they had uncovered a plot by two Iranians linked to Tehran's security agencies to hire a hit man to kill Saudi Ambassador Adel al-Jubeir.

One of them, Manssor Arbabsiar, was arrested in September and has pleaded not guilty. The other, Gholam Shakuri - said by U.S. officials to be a member of Iran's Revolutionary Guards but by Iran to belong to an anti-Tehran rebel group -- is still at large.

The Saudi-crafted resolution said the 193-nation assembly "deplores the plot to assassinate the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the United States of America", and said they were alarmed by the new and recurring acts of violence against diplomatic and consular representatives.

The passage of the resolution by a substantial majority came as Iran is under growing pressure over its nuclear program, which an International Atomic Energy Agency report last week said appeared to have worked on designing an atom bomb.

Immediately following the vote, Israel's ambassador to the United Nations Ron Prosor told Haaretz that, "The IAEA report and today's vote at the UN General Assembly are two dramatic steps, which show the start of Iran's diplomatic isolation - not only from Europe, but from Arab countries, too."

"Today's exchange of blows between Saudi Arabia and Iran brought to the surface what everyone had already suspected was going on behind closed doors: that Iran is a terror state," Prosor told Haaretz.

Echoing Prosor's comments, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in a statement that this UN resolution "demonstrates the increasing isolation of the Iranian regime as a result of its defiance of the international community and repeated failure to uphold its obligations under international law."

Introducing the resolution, Saudi Arabia's UN Ambassador Abdullah al-Mouallimi said "enough is enough" with attacks on diplomatic personnel, but Riyadh was "not seeking to insult Iran or any other country."

Iranian Ambassador Mohammad Khazaee told the assembly the resolution was "based on nothing but an unsubstantiated claim of one member state" - the United States.

A White House statement said the resolution "sends a strong message to the Iranian government that the international community will not tolerate the targeting of diplomats."

Israel, Egypt and Turkey voted in favor of the resolution, while South America abstained. Those countries who voted against Friday's resolution were Venezuela, Zambia, Nicaragua, Iran, Ecuador, Bolivia, Cuba, North Korea and Armenia.