Saudi Murder Suspect Pleads Not Guilty
An Iranian-American man plead not guilty on Monday to plotting to kill the Saudi ambassador to Washington in a bomb attack.
Manssor Arbabsiar, 56, who was arrested on September 29 in New York, faces several charges, including conspiracy to murder a foreign official, conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction and conspiracy to commit an act of terrorism.
Arbabsiar will be back in Manhattan federal court on December 21 for a status update hearing.
U.S. prosecutors accused Arbabsiar and an accomplice of planning to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the United States, Adel al-Jubeir, by planting a bomb in a Washington restaurant. The Iranian government denies any involvement.
President Barak Obama’s administration believes that Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamanei, probably knew of the alleged plot while President Mahmoud Ahmadinjad did not.
Ahmadinejad has said Washington had fabricated the plot to cause a rift between Tehran and Saudi Arabia and dominate the oil-rich Gulf.
U.S. officials have said Arbabsiar has confessed to his role in the assassination plot.
Arbabsiar's defense attorney, Sabrina Shroff, plans to file court papers questioning whether Arbabsiar's alleged confession to authorities was made against his rights.