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Iran 'Ready To Examine' U.S. Plot Accusations


Manssor Arbabsiar in a courtroom sketch
The Iranian foreign minister says Iran is "ready to examine" information the United States says supports accusations Tehran plotted to kill the Saudi ambassador to Washington.

Ali Akbar Salehi was quoted as saying by the official IRNA news agency that Iran is "ready to examine with deliberation any issue, even if it was fabricated."

He said Iran had asked the United States to provide information it may have to back the accusations.

Iran's Foreign Ministry has also demanded -- via the embassy of Switzerland, which represents U.S. interests in Iran -- consular access to the Iranian-American accused of being at the center of the alleged plot.

Manssor Arbabsiar, who holds both Iranian and American passports, was arrested by U.S. officials in September in an alleged plot to kill the Saudi ambassador to the United States, Adel al-Jubeir.

Iranian leaders have categorically denied any involvement in the alleged plot, calling it an attempt by Washington to divert attention from domestic economic problems.

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has vowed a strong response to any "inappropriate measure by the West."

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov meanwhile said that Moscow wants to know the evidence behind U.S. accusations before taking a position on the matter.

The Interfax news agency quoted Lavrov as saying the United States was sending representatives to discuss the allegations with Russia, which has ties with Iran and holds veto power as a permanent UN Security Council member.

compiled from agency reports