Americas

US sanctions 4 Iranians over alleged plot to assassinate dissident

Intelligence officers alleged to be behind plot to kidnap New York City-based Iranian journalist and human rights activist

Michael Gabriel Hernandez   | 04.09.2021
US sanctions 4 Iranians over alleged plot to assassinate dissident

WASHINGTON

The Biden administration sanctioned four Iranian intelligence officers on Friday in retaliation for an alleged plot to kidnap a US-based Iranian dissident. 

The designated individuals include senior intelligence official Alireza Shahvaroghi Farahani, and three of his operatives -- Mahmoud Khazein, Kiya Sadeghi, and Omid Noori, the Treasury Department said in a statement.

The four men are alleged to have planned the plot to kidnap New York City-based Iranian journalist and human rights activist Alinejad Masih.

Sadeghi served as the group's primary point of contact with a private investigator they allegedly hired to spy on Masih, while Khazein allegedly "researched travel routes from the victim’s residence to potential" points where she could have been taken out of the United States, according to the Treasury.

“The Iranian government’s kidnapping plot is another example of its continued attempt to silence critical voices, wherever they may be,” Director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control Andrea M. Gacki said. “Targeting dissidents abroad demonstrates that the government’s repression extends far beyond Iran’s borders.”

Iran has denied any involvement in the plot.

The sanctions block any property owned by the designates in the US, and prohibit US individuals from conducting business with them. Third-party nationals who conduct transactions with them could also be subject to sanctions.

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