Treasury Department sanctions Iranian intelligence network that tried to kidnap U.S. journalists

TonThe US Treasury Department announced sanctions against Iranian intelligence network agents who planned to kidnap an Iranian-born American writer and journalist who criticized the Tehran regime in New York City for “extradition” to Iran.

The target of the conspiracy was Masih Alinejad, a journalist and a well-known outspoken women’s rights activist. An indictment in July charged “four Iranian nationals with conspiracy related to kidnapping, sanctions violations, bank and wire fraud, and money laundering.”

Iran plots to kidnap U.S. journalists to criticize regime

Foreign Assets Control Office of the Ministry of Finance Announce It “designated four Iranian intelligence agents who targeted an American citizen in the United States and Iranian dissidents in other countries as part of a broad campaign to suppress criticism of the Iranian government.”

The Treasury Department stated that “Senior Intelligence Officer Alireza Shahvaroghi Farahani led a network planning the kidnapping of American journalists and human rights activists” and “consistent with the well-documented role of the Ministry of Intelligence and Security in the domestic repression. This operation demonstrates that Iranian intelligence The agency’s harmful role in targeting Iranians overseas includes a blatant attempt to repatriate political dissidents to Iran.”

“The Iranian government’s kidnapping conspiracy is another example of its continued attempts to suppress criticism, no matter where they are,” Andrea Gach, director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control, said on Friday. “Targeting foreign dissidents shows that the government’s repression goes far beyond Iran’s borders.”

The U.S. Department of Justice stated in July that Niloufar Bahadorifar, an Iranian accomplice and California resident, also “provided financial services to support the conspiracy,” adding that Farahani was an Iranian intelligence officer, and Mahmoud Khazein, Kiya Sadeghi, and Omid Noori were Iranians under his control. Intelligence assets for work.

Alinejad, identified as “Victim-1” in DOJ court documents, fled Iran in 2009 and settled in New York in 2014. After the launch of her popular “My Invisible Freedom” and “White Wednesday”, she has increasingly become the target social media activity of the Iranian regime.

The first campaign was launched in 2014 to encourage Iranian women to post photos of themselves without a headscarf, and the second similar civil disobedience started in 2017. Iranian women took off their headscarves or wore white shawls every Wednesday in protest.

The U.S. Treasury Department stated on Friday that the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and Security “played a key role in the Iranian government’s cruel violation of human rights against Iranians” and that “Iran’s suppression… Series of similar conspiracies. And other places.”

The U.S. Treasury Department stated that Farahani “leads a network of intelligence personnel including Mahmoud Hazan, Kia Sadji and Omid Nori.” Their “task is to target the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and Iranian dissident in the United Arab Emirates. “The Quartet” plans to kidnap an Iranian-American activist living in New York City, use the services of a private investigator to monitor the victim, and launder money from Iran to the United States to pay This kind of surveillance costs.” Sadji” conducted research. He chose to abduct victims from New York City to Venezuela by military speedboat, while Noori “paid investigators” and Khazein “studied from the victim’s residence to potential The travel route of the leakage point”.

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All four Iranians are designated to act on behalf of the Ministry of Intelligence and Security, their names Add to Be included in the list of specially designated nationals. The U.S. Treasury Department stated that any property or interests owned by these Iranians in the U.S. will be blocked, the American people will be prohibited from dealing with them, and people and financial institutions outside the U.S. may also be sanctioned if they conduct business. With four Iranians.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said: “Iran’s attempt to kidnap an American citizen on American territory because she used her freedom of speech to criticize the Iranian government is unacceptable and a serious violation of basic international norms. ” Said Friday. “In addition to this specific conspiracy, the United States is still aware of Iran’s continued interest in other U.S. citizens, including current and former U.S. officials.”

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Label: information, Iran, Ministry of Finance

Original author: Jerry Dunleavy

Original location: Treasury Department sanctions Iranian intelligence network that tried to kidnap U.S. journalists

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