Iran was at the forefront of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s mind today. Before she began her already scheduled talk on American global leadership at a conference organized by the Center for American Progress, Clinton addressed the Iranian plot to assassinate the Saudi Ambassador to the U.S.
Before I begin to address some of these trend lines that are really part of America’s leadership and how we define it and how we promote it, I want to just say a few words about the conspiracy to assassinate the Saudi Ambassador in Washington that was directed by elements of the Iranian Government. This plot, very fortunately disrupted by the excellent work of our law enforcement and intelligence professionals, was a flagrant violation of international and U.S. law, and a dangerous escalation of the Iranian Government’s longstanding use of political violence and sponsorship of terrorism.
This is not just, however, about Iran and the United States or even just about Saudi Arabia. Targeting an ambassador violates the Convention on the Protection and Punishment of Crimes against Internationally Protected Persons, which, of course, includes diplomats. Iran is a signatory to this convention. Iran is also in agreement with the Security Council resolutions to implement it. This kind of reckless act undermines international norms and the international system. Iran must be held accountable for its actions. In addition to the steps announced by the attorney general yesterday, the United States has increased our sanctions on individuals within the Iranian Government who are associated with this plot and Iran’s support for terrorism. We will work closely with our international partners to increase Iran’s isolation and the pressure on its government, and we call upon other nations to join us in condemning this threat to international peace and security.
Read Secretary Clinton’s full remarks at the Center for American Progress.