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Iranian-American gets 25 years prison in Saudi plot

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Iranian-American citizen Manssor Arbabsiar was sentenced Thursday to the maximum 25 years prison by a US judge who said his role in a bizarre plot against the Saudi ambassador to Washington could not be "tolerated."

Arbabsiar, 58, pleaded guilty last October to conspiring with Iranian military elements to hire assassins from the Mexican drug mafia to kill the Saudi envoy.

New York federal Judge John Keenan told the court that Arbabsiar "fully realized his act. He must learn the lesson. That cannot be tolerated."

Defense lawyers said Arbabsiar suffered from bipolar disorder, but Keenan said he'd been found fully competent and he dismissed lawyers' request for a sentence of just 10 years.

Top New York federal prosecutor Preet Bharara welcomed the result.

"Manssor Arbabsiar was an enemy among us -- the key conduit for, and facilitator of, a nefarious international plot concocted by members of the Iranian military to assassinate the Saudi Ambassador to the United States and as many innocent bystanders as necessary to get the job done," he said in a statement.

The plot, if carried out, would have caused "unspeakable harm," Bharara said.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130530/iranian-american-gets-25-years-prison-saudi-plot