President Obama is ramping up the pressure against Iran, saying officials at the highest levels of the Iranian government must be held accountable for the alleged plot to kill Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the United States. In his first public statement on the matter, the President promised the toughest sanctions on Iran, noting that officials in Tehran had direct links to the operation. He said, “This is part of a pattern of dangerous and reckless behavior on behalf of the Iranian Government…We don’t take any options off the table in terms of how we operate with Iran but what you can expect is we will continue to apply the sorts of pressure that will have a direct impact on the Iranian government until it makes a better choice as to how its going to interact with the international community.”
This comes as U.S. officials confirm that the Obama administration had direct contact with Iran over the plot allegations. As the case unfolds, some of the strongest evidence tying Iran to the assassination plot is coming from two wire transfers, routing the down payment on the proposed killing to a U.S. bank account secretly managed by the FBI. Officials say the money transfer is offering investigators important insight into operations within the Iranian government.