US Charges, Sanctions Iranians For Cyber Plot To Meddle In 2020 Election

11/18/2021

The US announced criminal charges on Thursday against two Iranians accused of launching a cyber campaign to meddle in the 2020 US presidential election.

The US also sanctioned six Iranian officials for their roles in the alleged plot.

Seyyed Mohammad Hossein Musa Kazemi, 24, and Sajjad Kashian 27, are each facing charges that they obtained confidential US voting information from at least one state election website.

They are also accused of sending threatening emails to intimidate voters and sending a video that contained disinformation about purported election infrastructure vulnerabilities.

The indictment alleges they also gained access to a US company's computer network in a plot to disseminate false claims about the election, but their plot was foiled thanks to intervention by the FBI and the company, which the indictment did not identify by name.

Secreatry of State Antony Blinken said, "Designation of Iranian cyber actors represents the collective efforts of the US Treasury, State Department and the FBI. The US government took decisive action against those seeking to interfere with the sanctity of our elections."

“This indictment details how two Iran-based actors waged a targeted, coordinated campaign to erode confidence in the integrity of the electoral system and to sow discord among Americans,” said Assistant Attorney General Matthew G. Olsen.

Two weeks before the November election, top intelligence officials in then-President Donald Trump's administration alleged that both Russia and Iran were attempting to interfere in the election and had gained access to some US voter registration data.

Report by Reuters

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