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Iran to gather evidence of U.S. "crimes"


CBS/AP

TEHRAN, Iran - Iran's judiciary chief says that he has assigned the country's state prosecutor to gather evidence proving U.S. crimes in Iran and elsewhere.

The statement by Ayatollah Sadeq Larijani, a cleric who heads the country's judicial system, come days after the U.S. accused Iranian government agents of plotting to kill the Saudi ambassador in the United States. Iran has dismissed the charges as absurd.

In comments broadcast Wednesday on state television, Larijani says his country is planning to sue the United States for committing "crimes" against both Iranians and Americans. He cited the arrest of Occupy Wall Street protesters as a U.S. "human rights violation."

He did not say whether Tehran planned to file the suit before an Iranian or an international court.

On Monday, Iran's foreign minister offered to look into charges that agents of his government were involved in a plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to Washington, if the U.S. provides enough information.

Iran: We may cooperate in assassination probe

The statement by Ali Akbar Salehi was the first indication that Iran might cooperate with the investigation, though other officials maintained a steady stream of ridicule and rejection of the charges.

In Switzerland Monday, Iran's parliament speaker said American officials are playing a child's game and have insulted his nation with the accusations.

"The issue and the plot is so naive that it doesn't need any mediation at all," said the speaker, Ali Larijani.

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Iran's semiofficial news agency ISNA quoted Salehi as saying Iran would deal with U.S. claims patiently, even if the case is seen as a fabrication. He said Tehran has asked the U.S. to provide information about those arrested, so that Iran can examine their background.