US: Foiled Plot a 'Dangerous Escalation' for Iran

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Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is calling an alleged Iranian plot to kill the Saudi Arabia ambassador to the U.S. a dangerous escalation in Iran's support for terrorism.

In federal court Tuesday, the government charged that Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps is behind a plan to kill the Saudi Ambassador Adel al Jubeir.

"We will be consulting with our friends and partners around the world about how we can send a very strong message that this kind of action, which violates international norms, must be ended," Clinton said.

The FBI says the plan was to set off a bomb in a Capitol Hill restaurant. One of the suspects, an Iranian-born american citizen named Manssor Arbabsiar, is accused of wiring money from Iran in a murder-for-hire scheme.

"The complaint alleges that this conspiracy was conceived, was sponsored and was directed from Iran," U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said.

Why would Iran risk such a deadly attack on U.S. soil? What does it mean for Middle East peace? And how will the Obama administration respond?  Watch below for comments from CBN News Terrorism Analyst Erick Stakelbeck.

Arbabsiar met with a government informant he thought was a member of a Mexican drug cartel.

"When a confidential source noted there could be 100-150 people in a fictional restaurant where the requested bombing would take place, the lead defendant said 'No problem,' and 'No big deal,'" U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said.

U.S. officials say the plan also included bombing attacks on the Israeli and Saudi embassies in Washington. The Iranian action qualifies as an act of war, but Washington's first response appears to be caution.

The Iranian regime began its war against the United States in 1979. Thirty-two years later, Washington has received a clear message that what it is dealing with isn't just a law enforcement problem.

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John Waage

John Waage

CBN News Sr. Editor

John Waage has covered politics and analyzed elections for CBN News since 1980, including primaries, conventions, and general elections. 

He also analyzes the convulsive politics of the Middle East.