Iranian Gov Plotted to Kidnap Women's Rights Activist Masih Alinejad Hadmin Atheist Republic

Read More Atheist Republic On July 13, an indictment unsealed by a New York federal court says that the US Department of Justice has charged four people with orchestrating plans to convince an Iranian journalist to fly to another country planning to kidnap her. Masih Alinejad, an Iranian-American journalist, based in New York City, is the target of the alleged kidnapping. The plan was plotted by four Iranian intelligence agents.
 
Absolutely insane story.
Iranian intelligence agents have been charged with planning to kidnap journalist and human rights activist @AlinejadMasih from Brooklyn.
She joined us on @NewDay: pic.twitter.com/nF7sfE3IlH
— Alli Hedges Maser (@AllisonLHedges) July 14, 2021
 
The Iranian agents were named in the indictment: Alireza Shavaroghi Farahani, Mahmoud Khazein, Omid Noori, and Kiya Sadeghi. According to the indictment, Farahani is the leader of the intelligence cell. With Noori and Sadeghi working directly under Farahani. A fifth individual was also named in the indictment. Niloufar Bahadorifar, who is based in California, provided financial resources for the abduction plot.
The indictment provided detailed accounts of how the Iranian agents plotted the abduction with surveillance activities conducted online by Iran’s intelligence team and surveillance led by private investigators in the US. The Iranian government’s plan, an already proven practice, is to lure the target to a country where Iran’s intelligence operatives are waiting. A ubiquitous method employed by these operatives is to use the target’s family to convince them to visit a specific country. 
 
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.
This is the regime that kidnapped & executed Ruhollah Zam. They’ve also kidnapped and jailed Jamshid Sharmahd and many others pic.twitter.com/HUefdEbiil
— Masih Alinejad  (@AlinejadMasih) July 14, 2021
 
Masih Alinejad, a journalist and activist for women’s rights, has lived in New York since 2014 after escaping from Iran in 2009. Masih is a vocal critic of Iran’s oppressive and cruel treatment of women, which permeates the political atmosphere, calling it its “biggest weakness.” 
 In August 2020, Masih revealed that Ebrahim Rezaei, now former but then Deputy Head of the Judiciary Committee, called on the intelligence services to kidnap her. Iran’s propaganda machinery also launched a series of harassment. A top newspaper in Iran published a stern warning against her: “Masih! Be ready! You’re the next to be kidnapped.” With other newspapers publishing depictions of her wearing a hijab and in handcuffs.
 
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.
Spare a thought for many other Iranian dissidents kidnapped and executed by this regime pic.twitter.com/bts6WR7D5Q
— Masih Alinejad  (@AlinejadMasih) July 14, 2021
 
On July 31, 2020, Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence announced that they arrested Jamshid Sharmahd. The ministry did not specify any detail about the arrest, simply referring to it as done through a “complex operation.” Jamshid Sharmahd, an Iranian-German national based in California, was abducted while passing via Dubai, heading for India. Iranian news media and TV broadcasted images of a blindfolded Sharmahd. After this abduction, the number of threats Masih received has increased.
Masih has taken the threats seriously, stating that “they are not empty threats.” Masih was right. In 2019, Ruhollah Zam, an Iranian journalist, and activist was arrested by the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) of Iran. Just like Sharmahd’s arrest, Iran did not release any specific detail about the operation. The IRGC stated that the arrest was made through “modern intelligence methods and innovative tactics.” 
The list goes on. Masih enumerated other journalists, activists, virtually any individual who speaks against the Iranian government. All of them, if not through tedious harassment, suffered either incarceration or, worse.
Article19, a human rights organization focusing on promoting freedom of expression, calls the plot to abduct Alinejad “disturbing.” Article19, a British NGO, is horrified, considering that it has only been seven months since Iran executed the France-based journalist, Ruhollah Zam.