Wednesday, September 28, 2022

US imposes sanctions on Iran over alleged plot to kidnap journalists

The United States has imposed sanctions on four Iranian intelligence agents behind a failed plot to kidnap an American journalist and human rights activist, the US Treasury said Friday.

The sanctions came after US prosecutors in July accused the four of plotting to kidnap a New York-based journalist critical of Iran. Reuters news agency confirmed that the journalist was an American citizen of Iranian origin, Masih Alinejad.

The Iranian government has stated that the alleged plot is “baseless.”

“The kidnapping plot by the Iranian government is another example of its ongoing efforts to silence critical voices, wherever they may be,” said Andrea Gacki, head of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control. “Targeting dissidents abroad shows that government repression goes far beyond Iran’s borders.”

The sanctions block all property of the four Iranians in America or within the United States and prohibit any transactions between them and American citizens. Non-American citizens who make certain transactions with them could also be subject to American sanctions, the department added.

Those subject to sanctions include senior Iran-based intelligence official Alireza Shahvaroghi Farahani as well as Iranian intelligence agents Mahmoud Khazein, Kiya Sadeghi and Omid Noori, the Treasury said. [ka/pp]

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