Masih Alinejad, US-based Iranian activist. FILE PHOTO

Masih Alinejad, US-based Iranian activist. FILE PHOTO

US Senators To Introduce Bill Against 'Iran's Terror Campaign Abroad'

12/2/2021

Masih Alinejad, an Iranian activist says that she would join two US Senators introducing a law named after her, aimed at Iran’s “transnational terror campaign.”

No details of the legislation proposed by Democrat Ben Cardin and Republican Pat Toomey have been published. It may propose additional sanctions against Iran just as diplomats in Vienna are working to revive the 2015 agreement limiting Iran’s nuclear program.

Alinejad, a best-selling author based in New York, was reportedly the target of an Iranian plot to kidnap her and take her to Iran via speedboat to Venezuela. A vocal supporter of strong US measures against the Islamic Republic, Alinejad has accused the Biden administration of ignoring human rights violations by Iran for the sake of reviving the 2015 nuclear deal, the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) nuclear program.

Alinejad was contacted by US Secretary of StateAntony Blinken after an interview with CNN in July in which she requested a meeting with President Joe Biden. In 2019 Alinejad had a well-publicized meeting with President Donald Trump’s Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Blinken said that the US would “support the indispensable work of independent journalists around the world,” and would not “tolerate efforts to intimidate them to silence their voices.”

Alinejad tweeted a readout of the call saying Blinken had found the idea that Tehran would abduct her from the US “particularly egregious.” She added Blinken had assured her the Biden administration would hold Iran accountable for the alleged plot.

The US Justice Department announced July 13 that four Iranian nationals were indicted on charges of conspiracies related to kidnapping, sanctions violations, bank and wire fraud, and money laundering, and a co-conspirator was facing additional structuring charges. One of the Iranians awaits trial in the US.

Although the Justice Department statement stressed that an indictment did not establish guilt and specifically avoided names, Alinejad announced she had been targeted for abduction along with other journalists from Canada and the United Kingdom and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had protected and monitored her home for months.

Dozens of Iranian journalists in other countries, including those working for BBC Persian TV and London-based Iran International TV, repeatedly complain about their own and their family members' harassment in Iran, and say they had been warnedby authorities about possible actions.

Iran executed in December 2020 Rouhollah Zam, editor of a social-media channel, after he was kidnapped in Iraq and convicted on security charges and televised confessions, without due process of law.

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