Did I mention that it's World War 4?
The United States accused Iran on Tuesday of backing a plot to kill the Saudi ambassador to Washington, escalating tensions with Tehran and stirring up a hornet's nest in the Gulf, where Saudi Arabia and Iran have long jostled for power.
The assassination plot began to unfold in May 2011 when Arbabsiar approached an individual in Mexico to help, but that individual turned out to be an informant for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
The confidential source, who was a paid informant but not identified, immediately tipped law enforcement agents, according to the criminal complaint. Arbabsiar paid $100,000 to the informant in July and August for the plot, a down payment on the $1.5 million requested.
LIKE A "HOLLYWOOD MOVIE"
Shakuri approved the plan to kill the ambassador during telephone conversations with Arbabsiar, the complaint said.
As part of the plot, the informant talked to Arbabsiar about trying to kill the ambassador at a Washington, D.C. restaurant he frequented, but warned him that could lead to dozens of others being killed, including U.S. lawmakers.
The criminal complaint said that Arbabsiar responded "no problem" and "no big deal".
After Arbabsiar was arrested in New York, he allegedly confessed and provided U.S. authorities with more details about the Iranian government's alleged involvement, Holder said.
Court papers say in a monitored phone call Shakuri allegedly confirmed to Arbabsiar the plot should move forward as quickly as possible, stating "just do it quickly, it's late."
Mueller said in this case "individuals from one country sought to conspire with a drug trafficking cartel in another country to assassinate a foreign official on United States soil."
He added: "Though it reads like the pages of a Hollywood script, the impact would have been very real and many lives would have been lost," he said.
It defies excerpting; read the whole thing at Iranians charged in U.S. over assassination plot | Reuters.
Update: Is this a turning point for US "relations" with Iran?