Iranian-American Man Sentenced to 25 Years of Prison for his Involvement in a Plot to Murder the Saudi Ambassador to the US

An Iranian-American named Manssor Arbabsiar has been sentenced to 25 years of prison in New York this Thursday, May 30, 2015 for his involvement in the scheme to kill the Saudi ambassador to the United States.


Saudi arabia fact-58 year old Manssor Arbabsiar is a naturalized United States’  citizen who, according to evidence provided during the trial, has been accused of recruiting assassins from a Mexican drug ring for an estimated $1.5 million dollars to kill Saudi ambassador Adel Al-Jubeir by allowing his dispatchers to bomb a restaurant located in Washington, where the Saudi ambassador was set to dine. Fortunately for Adel Al-Jubeir and unfortunately for Manssor Arbabsiar, one of the dispatchers hired for the killing of the ambassador was an undercover agent, who was posing as a member of a dangerous international drug ring, who revealed Arbabsiar’s plans to the federals and had him arrested soon after.


Expected Casualties Not a Matter of Concern for Arbabsiar


Manssor Arbabsiar was arrested back in September of 2011 at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport and since then, has admitted to his crimes and pleaded guilty during a court procedure in federal court in Manhattan back in October 2011 for actively conspiring to kill and therefore initiating an act of terrorism and for hiring dispatchers to carry on his assignment. The U.S. District Judge John F. Kennan who ruled over the trial was also notified that during the process of scheming, Arbabsiar was warned of additional untargeted casualties would likely be resulted from the bombing along with the death of Adel Al-Jubeir, to which Arbabsiar replied with an offhanded, “No big deal.” Though attorneys for Manssor Arbabsiar was leaning towards a more lenient sentence of 10 years due to plea bargaining, based on the evidence provided against Arbabsiar throughout the course of the trial, Judge John F. Keenan ultimately settled on a sentence of 25 years, recommended by prosecutors.


Judge Keenan Believes a More Stringent Punishment can be used as deterrent


On his decision to set a longer sentence of 25 years for Manssor Arbabsiar, Keenan states that he believes deterrence is key when it comes to lessening the threat of terrorism from within the nation. He further reinforces that such conspiracies plotted against the United States and its people or threats to the nation’s security will not be taken lightly and that those who think so “must learn the lesson [that] this will not be tolerated.”


Although Manssor Arbabsiar has taken full responsibility for his actions, he was also set to be plotting against the Saudi ambassador alongside a few additional members of the Iranian military, and though Attorney General Eric Holder states the plot has most likely also been endorsed by parts of the Iranian government, Iran has officially denied all and any involvement with Arbabsiar in the scheme.


Prior to being sentenced, Manssor Arbabsiar has apologized to the court for his actions and involvement in the plot and has stated that his “mind is sometimes not in a good place.”



John Miller is a Seattle immigration lawyer with years of expertise in all manners of immigration law and concerns.

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