Political circles in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain expressed indignation over the alleged plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to Washington Adel al-Jubeir.
Saudi and Bahraini officials and experts described the plot as an act of "terrorism" that violates all international norms. In statements to Al-Shorfa they called for speeding up the process of finding and punishing the perpetrators, upon determining the origin of the terrorist plot.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced on Tuesday (October 11th) the indictment of two Iranians for allegedly attempting to assassinate al-Jubeir as part of a conspiracy "conceived, sponsored and directed from Iran".
According to Holder, Iranians Mansour Arbabsear and Ghulam Shakuri are accused of participating in the plot "directed by factions of the Iranian government ". Arbabsear, a dual U.S. and Iranian citizen, was arrested on September 29th at Kennedy Airport in New York. Shakuri, a member of the Quds Force of Iran's Revolutionary Guards, remains at large.
A Saudi government statement condemned the assassination attempt that is "incompatible with international norms". The statement added that the Saudi government is looking into taking "measures and steps to put an end to these criminal acts, and confront any attempt to destabilize the kingdom, threaten its security and sow sedition among its people".
Iran denied it had anything to do with the plot. Ali Larijani, Iran's parliament speaker, described the accusation as "fabricated allegations" aimed to divert attention from Arab uprisings that he says were "inspired" by Iran's Islamic revolution.
Saudi researcher in security affairs Fayez al-Shahri said what happened reflects "a primitive reaction to dealing with political variables on the part of some countries".
Al-Shahri described the failed assassination plot as a "flagrant violation of U.S. and Saudi Arabian national sovereignty", and called for speeding up the process of taking action against the attackers. He also called for counter-action by Saudi Arabia and the United States to unravel this plot.
According to al-Shahri, this "latest conspiracy" against Saudi Arabia is a new "enactment of the Iranian political agenda that is devoid of any legitimacy".
Saudi author and researcher of political sociology, Dr. Khalid al-Dakhil, described the incident as a "clear indication of Tehran's dissatisfaction and alarm over political developments in Syria, and an attempt on its part to put pressure on other countries in the region".
Al-Dakhil emphasised the need to improve Saudi internal security and to confront Iran directly by uncovering evidence of its "illegal" practices.
"We need to strengthen Gulf and regional co-operation to counter Iranian threats and expose all evidence relating to its illegal activities to prevent similar incidents in the future," he said.
"If Iran's involvement in the attempt to assassinate our ambassador in Washington proves to be true, it would undoubtedly be considered a form of terrorism, which calls for putting those involved in this terrorist attack on trial", he said.
Faisal Foulath, a member of Bahrain's Shura Council, described the assassination attempt as a "terrorist act that constitutes a breach of all diplomatic principles and a violation of the simplest rules of respectful conduct of relations between states and protocols of international co-operation".
"We are highly concerned about the [attempt] against the Saudi ambassador to the United States and condemn it in the strictest terms, and also affirm our solidarity with our Saudi brothers in facing this ordeal. This evil action reveals to us the gravity of the practices carried out by Iran, which continually vaunts its constitutional [system], democratic representation, neighbourly stance, and alleged advocacy of Arab region and Islamic world causes. "
In Foulath's view, the failed assassination attempt falls within the context of financing and supporting international terrorism, expressing at the same time his "surprise" at Iran's "lawless actions" against its neighbour Saudi Arabia.
In contrast to Iran's behaviour, he said "Riyadh has always been at the forefront of efforts to strengthen bilateral relations with Tehran".
Foulath said the plot against the Saudi Embassy in Washington was hatched at a time he described as "critical and delicate, and serves only the enemies of Arabs and Muslims".
Foulath urged the Gulf Cooperative Council (GCC) and the Arab region to be cautious of Iran, "which has begun to plan and implement its political conspiracies aimed at destabilizing the Gulf and the Arab world", he said.
"The security of the countries of the region now stems from the governments standing behind their people to stave off any potential hidden danger or threat from Iran or other hostile states."