An Iranian plot to assassinate the Saudi Arabian Ambassador in Cairo was thwarted by Egyptian authorities over three months ago, according to reports.

A diplomat from the Kingdom said Egyptian forces had detained three Iranian men after uncovering the plot to kill ambassador Ahmed Kattan, but that the Saudis had opted to keep quiet about the plot for fear of stoking anti Saudi-demonstrators in Egypt.

Speaking to Al-Hayat news, Saudi legal advisor Sami Jamal said Egyptian authorities had arrested three Iranians planning to assassinate the ambassador, Ahmed Kattan.

Egyptian authorities informed concerned parties at the Saudi foreign ministry of the details of the plot, but the Saudi side opted to keep silent on the matter.

Everybody was concerned that foreign parties would exploit demonstrations by some (Egyptians) outside the embassy (in Cairo) to attack members of the mission, the Saudi daily Al-Sharq quoted him as saying.

The news comes after the Saudi's withdrew their ambassador over the weekend, shutting embassies and consulates in Cairo, Suez and Alexandria following protests over the imprisonment of an Egyptian lawyer in the Kingdom.

In October, the United States claimed to have foiled a similar plot by two men linked to Iran to kill the Saudi ambassador in Washington.

The Sunni Muslim kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Shia Muslim power of Iran are increasingly at loggerheads over a number of issues. Among other issues, the Saudis are reportedly gravely concerned about Iran's nuclear program as well as by Teheran's increased interference in the Persian Gulf Arab states where Riyadh seeks to maintain a controlling hand.