in what the U.S. has alleged WAS a plot [subject of 'was'?]

wind-sky-wind

Senior Member
Japanese
Hello, everybody! I'd like to ask about the following sentence:

President Barack Obama says Iran's government must be held accountable for what he calls "dangerous and reckless behavior" in what the U.S. has alleged WAS a plot to assassinate Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the United States.

In this sentence, which is the subject of the verb "was" after "alleged"?
Next, what is the role of "in what the U.S. has alleged was a plot to assassinate Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the United States"?
Does this modify "he calls ..." or limit the noun "behavior"?
Or any possiblity?

It would be greatly appreciated if you help me.
 
  • Tazzler

    Senior Member
    American English
    "what" is the subject of "was a plot." As a relative pronoun it means "the thing that." It would help you understand if we set off "the U.S. alleged" with commas: "in what, the U.S. claims, was a plot...."

    The sentence means this: America claims that Iran was involved in the attack on the Saudi ambassador. Obama says that Iran's government must be held accountable for acting dangerously and recklessly when it tried (the US claims this) to kill the ambassador.

    Welcome to the forum!
     

    wind-sky-wind

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    Thank you very much, Tazzler! Yeah, this is my first post, and I'm worried, wondering if there'll be an answer.
    Do you mean, Obama made a statement about this incident and in it, he used the expression "dangerous and reckless behavior"?
     

    Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    Yes, the report says that President Obama used the words "dangerous and reckless behavior"; that's what the quotation marks mean. And a welcome from me, too! :)

    Tazzler, I don't think that there was an actual "attack" or a "try to kill the ambassador". It's my understanding that there was a plan to undertake an assassination of the ambassador.
     

    wind-sky-wind

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    Thank you, Parla. Your answer's made me sure about the role of "in what ..."
    I look forward to your answer next time I post a question.
     
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