US aims to punish Iran for Saudi envoy plot

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Obama administration plans to leverage charges that Iran plotted to assassinate Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the United States into a new global campaign to isolate the Islamic republic.

U.S. officials say the administration will lobby for new international sanctions as well as for individual nations to expand their own penalties against Iran based on allegations that Iranian agents tried to recruit a purported member of a Mexican drug cartel to kill the Saudi envoy on American soil.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton told The Associated Press on Tuesday that this "crosses a line that Iran needs to be held to account for." She said she and President Barack Obama want to enlist more countries to work against what she called a "clearer and clearer threat" from Iran.