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'Egyptians thwart Iranian plot to kill Saudi envoy'
May 1, 2012 18:46
Saudi official says Egypt arrested 3 Iranians plotting to kill envoy in Cairo 3 months ago; Iran denies allegations.
Soldiers  guard Saudi embassy in Cairo

Saudi Embassy in Cairo 370. (photo credit:REUTERS)

Egyptian security forces thwarted an Iranian plot to assassinate Saudi Arabia's ambassador to Cairo several months ago, AFP reported on Tuesday quoting a Saudi official.

According to the report, the legal adviser of the kingdom's embassy, Sami Jamal, told Al-Hayat that Egypt had "arrested three Iranians planning to assassinate the ambassador, Ahmed Kattan."

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Jamal added that "Egyptian authorities informed concerned parties at the Saudi foreign ministry of the details of the plot, but the Saudi side opted to keep silent on the matter."

The report came after Riyadh recalled its ambassador from Cairo over the weekend. Kattan was recalled for consultations following protests outside the Saudi embassy in Cairo. Protesters were demonstrating against the arrest of an Egyptian lawyer in the kingdom. Egyptian activists said he had been detained for speaking out against ill-treatment of Egyptians in the kingdom. The Saudi authorities said he had been smuggling drugs.

Jamal told Saudi daily Al Sharq on Tuesday that "everybody was concerned that foreign parties would exploit demonstrations by some outside the embassy to attack members of the mission," according to AFP.

Iran denied the allegations of a plot against Kattan as "absolutely incorrect."

"Manufacturing such issues can only help divisions among Muslim countries and benefit the Zionist regime," AFP quoted Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast as saying.

In October, US authorities claimed to have broken up a plot by two men linked to the Iranian government to assassinate the Saudi ambassador in the United States. Iran staunchly denied the allegations.

Reuters contributed to this report.
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