Obama, Saudi king discuss alleged Iranian plot

WASHINGTON (AP) - The White House says President Barack Obama and Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah have discussed a foiled plot allegedly masterminded by Iran to assassinate the Saudi ambassador in Washington.

Both leaders committed to pursuing a strong, unified international response to hold the alleged plotters responsible. Two men, including a member of Iran's Quds Force special foreign actions unit, were charged in federal court in New York this week with conspiring to kill the Saudi diplomat, Adel Al-Jubeir.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Tuesday the U.S. is preparing new penalties against Iranians following the plot.

A spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry called the claims a "prefabricated scenario" and a "ridiculous show."

"These old-fashioned behaviors are based on the long-standing hostile American-Zionist policies and are ridiculous show in line with scenarios to provoke division," the semiofficial Fars news agency quoted Mehmanparast as saying Tuesday.

The U.S. Justice Department accused agents of the Iranian government of involvement in a plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the United States, with help from a suspected member of a Mexican drug cartel.