Iran denounces US sentencing over Saudi envoy Plot

May 31, 2013
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In this courtroom sketch, Manssor Arbabsiar, center, stands with his attorneys Thursday, May 30, 2013, in Manhattan Federal Court, in New York where the judge sentenced the former used car salesman from Corpus Christi, Texas, to 25 years in prison in a failed conspiracy to kill the Saudi Arabian ambassador to the United States by bombing a Washington restaurant. At left, Federal Defender Sabrina Shroff put her hand on Arbabsiar's back as U.S. District Judge John Keenan, not shown, read the sentence. (AP Photo/Elizabeth Williams)

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran's foreign ministry has denounced the U.S. for sentencing an Iranian-American to 25 years in prison over a plot to kill the Saudi envoy to Washington.

The reaction came a day after a New York court sentenced Iranian-born Manssor Arbabsiar, a former used car salesman from Texas, for plotting to kill the Saudi Arabian ambassador by bombing a Washington restaurant.

Arbabsiar had pleaded guilty to two conspiracy charges and a murder-for-hire count, saying he was directed by Iranian military officials to go to Mexico on multiple occasions in 2011 to arrange the assassination, which never occurred.

Iran's semi-official ISNA news agency on Friday quoted Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Araghchi as saying the charges against Arbabsiar were "ridiculous" and more like something out of a movie.

Araghchi claims Arbabsiar is "innocent."