October 13, 2011 / 8:39 AM / 8 years ago

Saudi Arabia mulling "decisive" steps on alleged plot

An Iranian protester holds a poster with an Israeli flag behind a torn Saudi Arabian flag during a protest outside Saudi Arabia's embassy in Tehran April 11, 2011. REUTERS/Morteza Nikoubazl/Files/EDITORS' NOTE: Reuters and other foreign media are subject to Iranian restrictions on leaving the office to report, film or take pictures in Tehran.

DUBAI (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia is considering decisive steps over an alleged Iranian plot to assassinate its ambassador in Washington, according to a statement carried by the state news agency SPA.

The statement, issued in Arabic and English late on Wednesday, condemned what it called “the outrageous and heinous” assassination plot and said the kingdom would continue its contacts and coordination with the United States over it.

“The kingdom, for its part, is considering decisive measures and steps it would take in this regard to stop these criminal actions and to decisively confront any attempt to undermine the stability of the kingdom, threaten its security and spread sedition among its people,” the statement by an official source said.

The United States said on Tuesday it had uncovered a plot by two Iranian men linked to the Islamic republic’s security agencies using a hitman to kill ambassador Adel al-Jubeir with a bomb planted in a restaurant. One, Manssor Arbabsiar, was arrested last month while the other is believed to be in Iran.

Iran has denied the charges and expressed outrage at the accusations.

“The kingdom (will) continue its contacts and coordination with the U.S. authorities concerned about this despicable plot and those who stand behind it,” the statement said.

Saudi Arabia calls on Arab and Islamic countries and the international community “to assume their responsibilities relating to these terrorist acts”, the statement added.

Earlier on Wednesday, Saudi Prince Turki al-Faisal, a former chief of Saudi intelligence, said that there was overwhelming evidence of Iranian official involvement in the plot.

(Reporting By Angus McDowall; Editing by Sami Aboudi)

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