US Stops Four Iranian Officials From Kidnapping Journalist

The United States (US) Treasury Department says the government has stopped four Iranian intelligence officials for their alleged involvement in a failed plot to kidnap an American journalist and human rights activist.

According to Reuters, sanctions were imposed in July after US prosecutors charged four Iranian intelligence officials with plotting to kidnap a New York and Tehran-based journalist.

Earlier, Reuters confirmed that the target was an Iranian-American journalist named Masih Ali Nejad. Iran has denied the allegations.

In a statement regarding the sanctions, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the United States was “aware of Iran’s continued interest in targeting other US citizens, including current and former US officials”. He did not give further details.

Andrea Gacki, head of the Treasury Department’s foreign asset control division, said, “This plot is another example of a constant effort to silence critical voices, wherever they may be.”

“Targeting voices abroad shows that government repression extends far beyond Iran’s borders,” she said.

Under the sanctions, the United States will freeze all assets owned by the four Iranians snd any transactions between them and US citizens will be banned.

In addition, other non-Americans who conduct transactions with the four may be subject to US sanctions.

The Treasury Department said the individuals approved included Ali Reza Shah Warughi Farahani, a senior Iranian intelligence official, as well as Iranian intelligence officials Mahmoud Khazin, Kia Sadighi and Ameed Nouri. 

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