Arbabsiar pled guilty in October to charges of conspiracy and murder-for-hire. He admitted being directed by Iranian military officials to travel to Mexico on multiple occasions in 2011 to arrange the assassination of Saudi ambassador Adel Al-Jubeir, which never occurred.
The 58-year old naturalized US citizen had worked in real estate and automobile sales since moving to the United States in 1977. He approached someone he thought was a member of a Mexican narco-terror group for help with the attack, but the man turned out to be an informant for US federal agents.
Speaking in court on Thursday, Arbabsiar said: “What I did was wrong,” adding, “I take responsibility for it… My mind sometimes is not in a good place.”
According to government officials, 58-year-old Arbabsiar had sought to hire the Mexican narco-terrorist group to plant a bomb in a popular Washington restaurant that the Saudi ambassador was known to frequent, in return for USD 1.5 million.
According to a recording of a conversation between Arbabsiar and the US informant, the naturalized US citizen was not concerned that between 100 and 150 people were expected to be in the restaurant when it was bombed, replying “no problem” or “no big deal.”
Before imposing the sentence, Judge John F. Keenan noted that “nothing in the record before me warrants a sentence of less than 25 years,” adding, “in a case like this, deterrence is of supreme importance.”
The judge emphasized that “others who may have financial or political purposes in engaging in acts of violence against the United States or its interests must learn the lesson that such conduct will not be tolerated.”