A top commander of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards on Wednesday denied any involvement of the force in the plot alleged by the United States to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to Washington.
"America's claims about the involvement of some members of the Guards in the fabricated terror plot (targeting) a diplomat from an Arab country in Washington are ridiculous and baseless," Guards deputy commander Brigadier General Hossein Salami was quoted as saying on the state television website.
"These actions are a threadbare and baseless scenario, and in effect seek to divert public opinion from the anti-Wall Street movement and America's failures in carrying out its policies of oppression in the (Middle East) region and around the world," he said.
Salami was quoted as saying that the US accusations "aim at sowing discord between Shiites and Sunnis and causing divisions within the world of Islam."
He said that "a chain of repeated failures, as well as the failure of American leaders in their foreign policy, has driven them to formulating ridiculous and baseless matters in the hopes of diverting international public opinion from the defeated capitalist system."
Salami said he hoped "by the grace of God, this too will be neutralised like their other conspiracies."
US officials on Tuesday said they had charged two Iranians, one of them a dual US citizen, with preparing to carry out a bomb attack on the Saudi ambassador under a plan "conceived, sponsored and directed from Iran."
The US Justice Department accused the Quds Force, a special forces unit incorporated in Iran's Revolutionary Guards, of being involved, based on testimony given by one of the Iranians who was in US custody.
The other Iranian, said to be a member of the Quds Force, was at large and believed to have left the United States, according to US authorities.