Iran speaker: US claims a distraction
Tehran - US accusations that Iran was involved in an alleged plot to kill the Saudi ambassador to Washington is a "childish game" meant to distract the US public, Iran's parliament speaker said on Wednesday.
"The Americans have launched a stupid mischief. They want to divert attentions from the problems in the region," Ali Larijani said, according to Mehr news agency and other Iranian media.
"They made a lot of noise that they have arrested people who wanted to bomb the Saudi embassy... but even they themselves know that they have started a childish game.
"Maybe they are after creating an artificial crisis and creating problems among regional countries," said Larijani.
"We have normal relations with the Saudis. There is no reason for Iran to carry out these childish actions that they spoke of."
Other Iranian officials have called the allegations, made on Tuesday by the US justice department and the FBI, a "prefabricated scenario" and an "evil plot" meant to distract attention from US domestic woes.
Spike in US-Iran tensions
The US authorities said two Iranians - one also holding US citizenship - were part of a plot "conceived, sponsored and directed from Iran" and involving Iranian government factions to kill Saudi Ambassador Adel al-Jubeir in a bomb attack.
US Attorney General Eric Holder said "the United States is committed to holding Iran accountable for its actions" in the alleged plot.
The accusations have caused a spike in tensions between the US and Iran, which have been foes for more than 30 years, ever since Islamic students took US diplomats hostage in their embassy in Tehran after Iran's revolution.
The US has already imposed unilateral sanctions on Iran, on top of those agreed by the United Nations, to pressure Iran to halt its nuclear energy programme that Washington fears is being used to build atomic weapons, despite Tehran's repeated denial.