An Iranian American used-car salesman from Texas at the center of a bizarre plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the United States was sentenced Thursday in federal court in Manhattan to 25 years in prison.
Mannsor Arbabsiar, 58, had pleaded guilty in October to a charge of murder-for-hire and two counts of conspiracy for his role in attempting to orchestrate the 2011 bombing assassination of Adel al-Jubeir while the ambassador dined at Cafe Milano, an upscale Georgetown restaurant.
Prosecutors said Arbabsiar was recruited by a cousin who was a senior official in the Quds Force, which in 2007 the Treasury Department designated a terrorist supporter, according to court papers. The group is part of the Revolutionary Guard Corps, which is closely aligned with Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
On Thursday, the State Department said there was a “marked resurgence of Iran’s state sponsorship of terrorism” in 2012, through the Quds Force and other outlets. In its annual report on worldwide terrorism, the department said Quds “is suspected of directing planned terrorist attacks in Georgia, India, Thailand and Kenya in 2012,” along with the 2011 plot.