October 12th, 2011
12:29 PM ET

Clinton: 'Iran must be held accountable'

Editor's note:  The U.S. Justice Department says the FBI and the DEA have disrupted a plot involving Iran to kill the Saudi ambassador to the United States and commit other attacks. Two men one arrested, the other at large have been charged in connection with the alleged plot, which the Justice Department says was directed by elements of the Iranian government.

The Justice Department says one of the men Manssor Arbabsiar, a naturalized U.S. citizen holding an Iranian passport arranged to hire for the assassination someone in Mexico who he thought was an associate of a drug trafficking cartel. The person in Mexico actually was a DEA confidential source who was posing as a cartel associate, the Justice Department says.

Here are the latest developments in the story on Wednesday:

[Posted at 12:29 p.m. ET] Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Wednesday that the alleged attempted assassination of Saudi Arabia's U.S. ambassador by Iranian operatives is the "kind of reckless act" which "undermines international norms and the international system."

"Iran must be held accountable," Clinton said.

Clinton said the U.S. government will continue to work to isolate the Iranian regime.

[Posted at 11:48 a.m. ET] Mahan Air, an Iranian commercial airline, has been sanctioned by the United States for its ties to Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force, the Treasury Department said on Wednesday.

[Posted at 7:27 a.m. ET]  Saudi Prince Turki al-Faisal said he believes "someone in Iran is going to have to pay the price" for the alleged plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the United States.

Al-Faisal, a key member of the royal family, was speaking at conference in London Wednesday. Al-Faisal's representatives said the remark was his personal view and not the official Saudi position.

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Filed under: Iran • Saudi Arabia • Terrorism • U.S.
soundoff (458 Responses)
  1. Kevin

    Well, after years of military build-up of US supplys in SA, why don't they just take care of it? Let the Muslims handle it amongst themselves! If Shia Iran wants to retaliate on "the holy land" let em do that, and see what kind of support they receive from other factions. In the long run, this just might be the straw to break the camels back (pun fully intended), but it isn't the USA that should be doing any of the heavy lifting. We already have Iran surrounded (Iraq & Afghanistan), and the fool president we have wants to pull out; and negotiate with these idiots with no prerequisites.

    McCain said he couldn't do that;; it's be a waste of time, and now I feel that the American electorate set us back 4 years by electing this clown at 1600 Penn Ave. There is no "nice-nice" with Iran; they made that perfectly clear in 1979, and started the whole "holy war" that still rages and caused 9/11. They got away with the hostage situation then by appeasement, and it contunued through every faction since! We should have scared the beJesus out of them in 79 by turning some remote desert area in Iran into a glass factory, and told them "next one is Tehran!" But the impotent Carter is the pale version of Obama, and America,,,,,,you get what you ask for!

    October 12, 2011 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
    • cvf

      Well said.

      October 12, 2011 at 10:02 am | Report abuse |
    • Alert Citizen

      You need some education in diplomacy. It is not a fight between two hilbillis in West Virginia mountains, where every quarrel is resolved using muscles.

      October 12, 2011 at 10:06 am | Report abuse |
    • What a bunch of losers

      I share your anger with carter but obama has a country with a crap economy so we need to get out of two hot wars so we can fight the warm wars. Since SA does have an ax to grind I say let them pay for our expensive military force to give everyone a fat paycheck from E1 up with no expense to Americans and we beat hell out of Iran. If would never work of course since our state dept. and politicians love to kowtow to anyone with money (nobody does it better than obama) but it would be fun and profitable.

      October 12, 2011 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Hasai

      "You need some education in diplomacy. It is not a fight between two hilbillis in West Virginia mountains, where every quarrel is resolved using muscles."

      I take it you have never studied the history of international politics.

      October 12, 2011 at 10:10 am | Report abuse |
    • R Cole

      Well put...Carter started this whole appeasment process back in 78!!! Up until now he was, by far, the absolute worst 'Commander -N- Chief" this Nation has ever seen...Obama is obviously wanting to win that race by a few furlongs...

      October 12, 2011 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Kamikaze

      Mocking the current US President no matter what party affiliation shows just how ignorant you are. I stopped reading at, "fool president".

      October 12, 2011 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Battleback

      In every school yard fight there is always someone yelling "STOP FIGHTING...!!" That is, until they get sucker punched and knocked on their @$$. Now they are on their knees saying, "Won't someone help me..?" As Kevin said, "There is no "nice-nice" with Iran."
      @ Alert Citizen You are just being naive to think they are just an innocent quiet diplomatic country. They are constantly planning to destroy Israel...how do we know that? They remind us every chance they get.

      October 12, 2011 at 10:17 am | Report abuse |
    • parrothead

      Hey Kevin, news to you.... we are already broke due to 2 nonfunded wars the GOP started... my personal opinion. the leaders should have been locked up for war crimes.... and I am a veteran. are you ?

      October 12, 2011 at 10:25 am | Report abuse |
    • r pearce

      What about giving them arms as Reagan slept through office. Maybe Bush was one letter off when he attacked the only country that stood up to Iran in the region- Iraq. What an idiot.

      October 12, 2011 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
    • mcore

      Not surprisingly, America started this whole mess with Iran in 1953 when the United States under Eisenhower helped the British overthrow Iran's DEMOCRATICALLY-ELECTED Prime Minister as retaliation for the nationalization of British oil companies (which was only fair after the UK had made itself rich by extracting Iran's oil wealth). The Shah (an Anglo-American sympathizer) was installed as dictator. The Iranian people revolted against the Shah's regime in 1979 and took Americans hostage. Everything else is a result of that idiotic, illegal action by the US in 1953. Learn your history before spouting ill-informed opinions.

      October 12, 2011 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
    • whatworks4u

      Alert. Buddy you have some things to learn about flexing your muscles in the middle Eastern/Arabic nations. I mean no offense, but if you don't show your strong, you are viewed as weak. There's no in between with Iran. I'm not for war, but Iran has always been the center of the problem, or the U.S. (depending on whose side you take). Kevin's correct for the Sunni population of Muslims, but I promise the Shia fundamentalist's population would like to see the "holy land" in Shia hands.

      October 12, 2011 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Jo

      Well stated Kevin! As an Iranian who moved here in 79 after Jimmy Carter ruined Iran, I cannot wait for the day for someone to do something about Iran. This administration won't, and our economic difficulties do warrant that in my opinion, but here's hoping the Saudi's take some initiative here.

      October 12, 2011 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
  2. Steve

    C'mon let's have another war! Invade Iran. Third try is the charm.
    Just kidding, though I'm sure some folks think invading Iran would be a good idea. There's money to be made.
    But, let the Saudi's fight their own battles.

    October 12, 2011 at 9:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Hugo

      Steve said "But, let the Saudi's fight their own battles." An attack on a restaurant on U.S. soil would have also killed U.S. citizens. This isn't a legitimate concern of the U.S. government? How so?

      October 12, 2011 at 10:03 am | Report abuse |
  3. Ted Peters

    I guess the Pollyanna perspective on international relations ain't xactly working out too well for the One.

    October 12, 2011 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Paul

      Getting rid of Iran's constant enemy has not helped much either.

      October 12, 2011 at 10:21 am | Report abuse |
  4. Hasai

    Well, the people of Iran's Revolutionary Guard, and most especially the Quds, have never struck me as having all-that great a grip upon reality, but even for them this would be sheer lunacy.

    Something is seriously wrong, here.

    October 12, 2011 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
  5. JOE

    Sandy

    I disagree with you that Mit Romney should be elected president because he is best suited to fix the economy and create jobs. Don't forget that Mit Romnet is part of the problem. In other words, he has supported the previous administration and he continues to support the GOP that is responsible for our economic perils. Furthermore, if Mit Romney has solutions for job creation and regrowing our economy, how come he hasn't presented it yet?

    And what I find ironic is that for two and a half years the GOP has been asking sarcastically "where are the jobs" but when the president introduced proposal for a comprehensive jobs bill, key members of the GOP walked out on the president's address. Furthermore, what I find outrageous is that the GOP argues that the president's jobs bill will fail however they're yet to introduce one that would work. That's hypocrisy! Obama/Biden 2012.

    October 12, 2011 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
    • dark paul

      So you are such a glutton for punishment that you want 4 more years of Obama? REALLY? I hope you have a stash of gold bars in your basement because if Obama gets re-elected you're going to need them. The Great Depression 2 will be upon us.

      October 12, 2011 at 10:18 am | Report abuse |
    • hairless ape

      Just because it's called a "jobs bill" by Obama doesn't mean it will create jobs. It nmakes no sense to vote yes on a useless political stunt just because there is no alternative. Anyone But Obama 2012!

      October 12, 2011 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
    • hairless ape

      *makes

      October 12, 2011 at 10:25 am | Report abuse |
    • parrothead

      I would much rather have 4 more years of Obama than to elect a crowd that denies science, doesnt believe in evolution, and is hell bent with taking the country down to get one guy out of office. the GOP has shown themselves completely unfit to run a henhouse, much less the country.....
      no you dont get to ruin the country by not passing ANY legislation and get a free pass. that is complete bs.

      October 12, 2011 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
    • Jo

      NO ONE has supported the previous administration more than the current president! He doubled up the Bush stimulus, and now wants more – even his own party doesn't agree! He put the Bush bailouts on steroids, he used the Bush Iraq withdrawal plan, he used the Bush troop surge policy in Afghanistan, and he extended the Bush bailouts. Yet, you and the president continue to blame the previous administration with a straight face.

      October 12, 2011 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
    • Jo

      NO ONE has supported the previous administration more than the current president! He doubled up the Bush stimulus, and now wants more – even his own party doesn't agree! He put the Bush bailouts on steroids, he used the Bush Iraq withdrawal plan, he used the Bush troop surge policy in Afghanistan, and he extended the Bush tax cuts! Yet, you and the president continue to blame the previous administration with a straight face.

      October 12, 2011 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
  6. D

    The us can't do a thing about it, they are broke. ha ha

    October 12, 2011 at 10:09 am | Report abuse |
  7. James

    I don't think anyone wants Saudia Arabia and Iran to go to war. The impact on oil prices across the world would be insane. If Iran indeed was involved then they will need to pay a price, but we need to be aware of the impact that military action will have on us and the rest of the world. Is the world economy really ready to absorb a full scale war in the Persian Gulf?

    October 12, 2011 at 10:15 am | Report abuse |
    • r pearce

      Well said.

      October 12, 2011 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
  8. Philip

    Poor Kevin, he throws around terms like idiot without haqving a clue what he is talking about. He has no clue what Obama's foreign policy is or how foreign policy works. He just knows that Obama is an idiot. How edifying!

    October 12, 2011 at 10:16 am | Report abuse |
    • parrothead

      keep it simple.... amazing fact . the 10 poorest states in the US are solid Republican states. they have the lowest income, educational standards, and the least educated electorate. no wonder they buy the propaganda hook , line and sinker....

      October 12, 2011 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
  9. SusanBarwick

    Iran has messed with the wrong people on this one, and they will pay by the hands of the Saudi's. This is how it should be as they share basically the same culture and the Saudi's understand the powers that be in Iran. I applaud the courageous effort our people spent on stopping this... a very dangerous game. I am so glad that innocent Americans were not killed as they would have been in this murderous attack.

    October 12, 2011 at 10:17 am | Report abuse |
    • parrothead

      A great response.... this is a Saudi problem. that was attempted to happen on our soil. we should help them . but not fight the fight for them. however, it is time to start laying the economic real smackdown on them.

      October 12, 2011 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
  10. NorCalMojo

    Saudi has a history of begging for help and turning us when the Arab world cries foul. If we help them, they will leave us holding the bill again.

    Let them do their own dirty work.

    October 12, 2011 at 10:17 am | Report abuse |
  11. R Cole

    2 wars and multiple hundreds of Billions of dollars to support the wars is, for the most part, why we've gone so far into the red...And if memory serves me right the Libs were on-board back when Bush said "Let's go kick some Fundamental Islamic Butt!". But now we see some backtracking and it's all the GOP's fault that we are in this position. Whatever!!!

    October 12, 2011 at 10:18 am | Report abuse |
    • r pearce

      Not true. They were on board because they were told that there were weapons of mass destuction. Then we found out that they lied just to get Halliburton in for Cheney.

      October 12, 2011 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
    • parrothead

      actually many were on board due to patriotism, and because there was a massive lie and propaganda scheme by the administration to lead us into a war that the hawks were sure we would win in a minute.... despite the top retiring General in Afganistan calling our preparation. childishly naive.

      October 12, 2011 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
  12. Frangible

    Jeeze, how is this Obama's fault? You guys are as bad as the Iranians who blame everything on Israel.

    Anyway, I don't see how "moving troops and ships around" is really a response to anything or better than sanctions. Either you kill them all, or you don't. Either do the former or GTFO and stop complaining about Obama. Wasting the Navy's time is a pointless gesture, especially when we've invested greatly in being the last thing they never see in an actual conflict.

    October 12, 2011 at 10:19 am | Report abuse |
  13. R Cole

    I say we make a deal with SA... We take care of Iran without troops on the ground and SA gives us free oil for the duration...

    October 12, 2011 at 10:19 am | Report abuse |
  14. Maxine

    I agree it needs to be addressed...by the SAUDIS ! How much American blood has to soak Middle Eastern sand before they man up and take care of their own problems?

    October 12, 2011 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |
  15. mcore

    Bear in mind that America has only herself to blame for most of its problems with Iran. In 1953 the United States (under Eisenhower) helped the British overthrow Iran's democratically-elected Prime Minister, Mohammed Mosaddegh, as retaliation for the nationalization of British oil companies by Mosaddecgh. The Shah (an Anglo-American sympathizer) was installed as king/ dictator. The Iranian people revolted against the Shah's regime in 1979 and took Americans hostage. Everything else plays out from that. So you see, it's actually easy to see now why many Iranians continue to resent America. It would be helpful if more Americans knew their own dirty history.

    October 12, 2011 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |
    • AnonNC

      I suggest that you pick up a history book. It was Iran who lobbied the US and GB to invest in oil infrastructure in Iran in the fifties at a time when there was a push at home to develop our own oil resources. It was the Iranian lobby that persuaded the US to invest with the promise of friendship and mutually beneficial economic rewards for both. It was Iran who reneged on that promise in the 70's. Regardless, events that happened 60 years ago are ancient history now, and they're NOT a justification for murder.

      October 12, 2011 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
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