The group of four was charged with conspiracy related to kidnapping, violation of sanctions, bank and wire transfer fraud, and money laundering.
The U.S. Treasury Department has sanctioned four Iranian intelligence officials who allegedly targeted an Iranian-American journalist and human rights activist living in the United States and Iranian dissidents in other countries to suppress criticism of the Iranian government.
The Foreign Assets Control Office of the Ministry of Finance said in a statement Press statement On Friday, Alireza Shahvaroghi Farahani, a senior Iranian intelligence officer, led a group of Iranian intelligence officers to plot the kidnapping of an American journalist and human rights activist.
Although the name is not mentioned in the statement of the Ministry of Finance or on its website, it is speculated that the reporter is Erin Nejad, A journalist who contributed to the Persian service of the Voice of America funded by the U.S. government and covering human rights issues in Iran. His case involving Iranian intelligence officials has become international news.
“The kidnapping conspiracy of the Iranian government is another example of its continued attempts to suppress criticism, no matter where they are,” Andrea M. Gaki, director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control, said in a statement.
“Targeting foreign dissidents shows that the government’s repression goes far beyond Iran’s borders,” she added.
The alleged failure of the conspiracy to kidnap journalists resulted in the organization being prosecuted in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York in late July. The group of four was charged with conspiracy related to kidnapping, violation of sanctions, bank and wire transfer fraud, and money laundering.
The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the Ministry of Treasury is designating four Iranian intelligence personnel to target a U.S. citizen in the United States and Iranian dissidents in other countries as part of a broad campaign aimed at getting Iran Critics of the government remained silent. https://t.co/srx6yWwcAt
-Ministry of Finance (@USTreasury) September 3, 2021
The U.S. Treasury Department said on Friday that the team allegedly planned to kidnap reporters living in New York City, claiming that the organization hired a private investigator to monitor the victims and laundered money from Iran to the United States to pay for surveillance.
According to the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Sadji reportedly “studied a plan to kidnap victims from New York City to Venezuela by military speedboat.”
Farahani is also accused of leading Mahmoud Khazein, Kiya Sadeghi and Omid Noori in conspiring against Iranian dissidents in the United States, Britain, Canada and the United Arab Emirates.
The Ministry of Finance also stated that the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) was involved in the domestic crackdown and emphasized that actions against dissidents, journalists and opposition leaders undermined international peace and security.
The department stated that MOIS had previously been designated by the United States as responsible or complicit in serious violations of human rights against the Iranian people.