MEXICO — An Iranian-American man accused of plotting to assassinate Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the United States was arrested after being denied entry to Mexico, the foreign ministry said.
Julian Ventura, deputy foreign minister for North America, provided little detail on the role Mexican authorities played in foiling the alleged plot to blow up Saudi Ambassador Adel Al-Jubeir on US soil.
He said the suspect, Manssor Arbabsiar, was denied entry to Mexico on September 29 because an arrest warrant had been issued for him.
Arbabsiar "was returned to the point of origin of his trip and was arrested during a stopover at John F. Kennedy Airport of New York," Ventura said.
US Attorney General Eric Holder said earlier in Washington that the suspect was arrested September 29 on returning from Mexico after meeting there with an undercover US agent posing as a member of a Mexican drug cartel.
In Washington, the Mexican embassy issued a statement suggesting the two countries cooperated closely.
"From the very first moment, Mexico and the United States exchanged information and acted in a coordinated way," the embassy said.
The cooperation shows that "we have mechanisms and procedures in place to anticipate and prevent the presence on our territory of individuals who are harmful to national security and interests," the statement said.
"By strictly adhering to national and international regulations, we were able to neutralize a significant risk to Mexico's national security," it added.
The US Justice Department charged that Arbabsiar, a 56-year-old dual Iranian-American citizen, and Gholam Shakuri, a member of Iran's Quds Force, conspired to kill al-Jubeir with a bomb in a restaurant.
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