Ahmadinejad: Iran will not probe alleged US plot
TEHRAN - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Monday that the Islamic Republic would not investigate US allegations that two Iranians were planning to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to Washington.
"Why should we investigate," Ahmadinejad said in an interview with Al Jazeera International aired late on Monday.
"Every day the United States launches a new accusation against Iran. This position by the United States is wrong. If they think that by applying pressure they will get results they are wrong," he said.
"We have officially rejected these accusations," he said. "Only those who don't have culture and logic resort to assassinations. The Iranian people are civilised and cultivated."
"Why should we go to the United States to assassinate an ambassador of a friendly country," he said. "Those who hear of this laugh."
The Iranian president said that Washington was using the plot "to create divisions between Iran and Saudi Arabia" and to make people forget about their "internal economic problems."
Iranian officials and leaders have fiercely denied any involvement in the alleged plot, calling it an attempt by Washington to divert attention from domestic economic woes and foreign policy failures in the Middle East.
Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said on Monday that Iran was "ready to examine" the information behind the US accusations.
Earlier Washington said that Iran should extradite or prosecute the high-ranking Revolutionary Guard official, Gholam Shakuri, who is one of the two accused in the plot.
"According to the international convention on protected persons, Iran's government has a choice to either extradite this person or submit the case for prosecution on its own. We leave it to them to take action," State Department spokesman Mark Toner told a press briefing.
The other main suspect in the apparent plot is Iranian-American dual national Mansour Arbabsiar, who is currently being held in a US jail pending trial.