President Joe Biden is moving forward with negotiations to re-enter a nuclear agreement with Iran despite the regime attempting to kidnap American journalist and human rights activist Masih Alinejad. Alinejad lives in New York City.
"We will continue to pursue those talks, pursue the diplomatic path forward, which we think is in our interest and continues to be constructive," White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters Wednesday afternoon.
Jen Psaki says that Iranian plot to kidnap a journalist in the US does not affect the administration's efforts to pursue the Iranian Nuclear Deal. pic.twitter.com/wEC9oiWSCl— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) July 14, 2021
On Tuesday the Department of Justice announced the indictment of Iranian intelligence officials involved in the plot to kidnap Alinejad on American soil. The suspects are still at large.
“As alleged in this indictment, the government of Iran directed a number of state actors to plot to kidnap a U.S.-based journalist and American citizen, and to conduct surveillance on U.S. soil - all with the intention to lure our citizen back to Iran as retaliation for their freedom of expression,” FBI Counterintelligence Division Assistant Director Alan Kohler Jr. released in a statement. “We will use all the tools at our disposal to aggressively investigate foreign activities by operatives who conspire to kidnap a U.S. citizen just because the government of Iran didn’t approve of the victim’s criticism of the regime.”
The indictment gives details about how multiple attempts by the Iranian government to lure Alinejad to a third country, where she would be kindapped and taken to Iran, failed. The regime's Intelligence officials then brazenly planned to kidnap her from Brooklyn, New York.
"The charges in this Indictment arise out of a scheme by the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to target dissidents who oppose the regime's violations of human rights, suppression of democratic participation and freedom of expression, and corruption. The regime has targeted such individuals for harassment, intimidation, and incarceration, among other tactics. In recent years, the regime has also targeted its perceived opponents residing outside Iran for kidnapping and capture," the indictment states. "In at least the last two years, Iranian intelligence services have lured Iranian expatriates lawfully residing in other countries to revel to locations where they could be captured, imprisons in Iran and executed."
"Since at least June 2020, the government of Iran has plotted to kidnap Victim-1 [Masih Alinejad] from within the United States in furtherance of the regime's efforts to silence Victim-1. On multiple occasions in 2020 and 2021, agents of the Government of Iran procured the services of private investigators to surveil, photograph, and video record Victim-1 and Victim-1's household members in Brooklyn, New York, as part of the plot to kidnap Victim-1 for rendition to Iran," it continues.
Alinejad responded to the indictments on her Twitter feed and during an interview with CNN.
This is my latest statement for @VOAIran about the Islamic Republic of Iran's Ministry of Intelligence plot to kidnap me from Brooklyn. I'm glad to be alive and appreciate your support.— Masih Alinejad ??? (@AlinejadMasih) July 14, 2021
Spare a thought for many other Iranian dissidents kidnapped and executed by this regime pic.twitter.com/bts6WR7D5Q
I am grateful to FBI for foiling the Islamic Republic of Iran's Intelligence Ministry's plot to kidnap me. This plot was orchestrated under Rouhani.— Masih Alinejad ??? (@AlinejadMasih) July 14, 2021
This is the regime that kidnapped & executed Ruhollah Zam. They've also kidnapped and jailed Jamshid Sharmahd and many others pic.twitter.com/HUefdEbiil
As @AlinejadMasih has highlighted here, this brazen kidnapping plot by the Islamic Republic of Iran on the American soil is one more reason why the Biden administration must not throw human rights under the bus. https://t.co/OpREnLroQ4— ?????????? ?????????????? (@vahid_yucesoy) July 14, 2021