An Iranian man has appeared in a New York court accused of plotting to kill the Saudi Arabian ambassador to the United States.
Manssour Arbabsiar is said to be one of two agents with Tehran connections alleged to have been plotting a series of terrorist attacks using explosives.
While Arbabsiar has apparently confessed his involvement, a second man is still at large.
US Attorney General Eric Holder said: “The complainant alleges that this conspiracy was conceived, was sponsored, and was directed from Iran and constitutes a flagrant violation of US and international law.”
The plot was revealed when Arbabsiar mistakenly approached a US informant.
“It was a terrific achievement by our law enforcement and intelligence communities and we will be consulting with our friends and partners around the world about how we can send a very strong message that this kind of action that violates international norms must be ended,“said US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Officials at the Saudi embassy said that their ambassador was never in danger.
Plots to blow up the Saudi and Israeli embassies in Buenos Aires were also uncovered, although the charges only cover the alleged assassination attempt.
Iran has denied any involvement