Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Monday an alleged plot to kill the Saudi ambassador to the United States was fabricated by Washington to cause a rift between Tehran and Saudi Arabia and divert attention from U.S. economic problems.
"By accusing Iran they are not going to achieve anything," Ahmadinejad said in a live interview on Al Jazeera television.
When asked whether he thought Iran and the United States were on an inevitable "collision course" toward military conflict, he replied: "I don't think so.
"I think that there are some people in the U.S. administration who want this to happen but I think there are wise people in the U.S. administration who know they shouldn't do such a thing."
Two men, including a member of the Iranian special foreign actions unit known as the Quds Force, have been charged in New York federal court with conspiring to kill the Saudi diplomat, Adel al-Jubeir.
The alleged plot raised tensions between Mideast's Sunni power, Saudi Arabia and Iran, the Shiite powerhouse.
Saudi Arabia is asking that the alleged Iranian plot be brought to the U.N. Security Council.
But Saudi Arabia's U.N. Ambassador Abdallah Y. Al-Mouallimi did not say what action, if any, his government wants the U.N.'s most powerful body to take.
The council has already imposed four rounds of sanctions against Iran over its disputed nuclear program. Russia and China, which have strong economic ties to the oil-rich Mideast nation, reacted cautiously to the new allegations.
In a letter to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon obtained Monday by The Associated Press, Saudi Arabia's Al-Mouallimi called the plot not only "a heinous crime" but "a gross violation" of international treaties including those to protect diplomats.
"According to United States authorities, overwhelming evidence leads to the conclusion that this plot was planned, financed, and directed by elements working for or belonging to the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran," he said.