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Iran Downplays Sentencing Over Plot To Kill Saudi Envoy

Manssor Arbabsiar is pictured in this courtroom sketch from an appearance in Manhattan Criminal Court in New York in October.
Tehran is downplaying a 25-year prison sentence against an Iranian-American who was convicted in an alleged Iranian-backed plot to assassinate Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the United States.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Araqchi said on Iranian state television that “convicting an innocent person in such a way has no legal value and is merely a political move” by the U.S. federal court.

Manssor Arbabsiar, a naturalized U.S. citizen who also holds an Iranian passport, was convicted after admitting he conspired with Iranian military officials to try to kill Saudi Ambassador Adel al-Jubeir at a Washington restaurant in September 2011.

Tehran denies any involvement in the plot.

The assassination was never attempted.

Based on reporting by AP, AFP, dpa, Iranian state tv