Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei 311 (R).
(photo credit: Ho New / Reuters)
TEHRAN - Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned on Sunday that Tehran would respond robustly to any "inappropriate measure" by Western powers linked to an alleged Iranian plot to kill the Saudi ambassador to Washington, state television reported.
"Any inappropriate measure against Iran, whether political or security-related, will be strongly confronted by the Iranian nation," Khamenei said, in a clear reference to US allegations that two men with links to Iran's security forces had planned to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the United States.
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Iran says the allegation is without foundation and has been cynically engineered to further isolate Tehran -- whose disputed nuclear program has triggered several rounds of international sanctions against it.
Speaking in the western province of Kermanshah, Khamenei said Washington had fabricated the allegation to overshadow protests in the United States against corporate greed.
"By fabricating this baseless scenario against Iran, American leaders
wanted to divert attentions from the Occupy Wall Street movement,"
"It is very bitter and difficult for American leaders to accept that nations of at least 80 countries support the movement."
Washington has called for increasing pressure on Iran since Tuesday when it revealed the plot.
Despite Iran urging Saudi Arabia to exercise caution in its response to
the US allegation, Riyadh took first steps to report Iran to the UN
Security Council, a move that could lead to new sanctions, the Asharq al-Awsat
newspaper reported, citing a statement from the kingdom's UN mission.