Obama Says Terror Plot Had ‘Direct Links’ to Iran Government

President Barack Obama said a person charged with plotting to assassinate Saudi Arabia’s U.S. ambassador “had direct links, was paid by” and “directed by individuals in the Iranian government.”

“This is part of a pattern of dangerous and reckless behavior by the Iranian government,” Obama said at a joint White House news conference with South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, who is on a state visit to Washington.

“There are individuals in the Iranian government who were aware of this plot,” Obama said.

Asked if there is evidence Iran’s top leaders knew about the plan, Obama said that “even if at the highest levels there was not detailed operational knowledge, there has to be accountability with respect to anybody in the Iranian government engaging in this kind of activity.”

The U.S. will “apply the toughest sanctions and continue to mobilize the international community” to “make sure that Iran is further isolated,” Obama said.

The U.S. hasn’t taken “any options off the table,” he said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Margaret Talev in Washington at mtalev@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Bob Drummond at bdrummond@bloomberg.net

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