Mansour Arbabsiar

The man charged with conspiring to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the U.S. has pleaded not guilty in a Manhattan court.

The 56-year-old Arbabsiar has been accused of allegedly attempting to pay $1.5 million to professional assassins to kill Adel Al-Jubeir, the Saudi ambassador, as well as to carry out a series of bombing in the U.S.

The United States claims that Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps’ international arm, the Qods Force, initiated the assassination plot.

Iranian authorities including Ayatollah Khamenei, Iran’s Supreme Leader, have vehemently denied the charges and referred to them as a “political and media show” produced by the U.S. to defame the Islamic Republic.

Arbabsiar, an Iranian-American car salesman, was said to have confessed to the charges against him but he denied the charges in court. If convicted, he will face life imprisonment.