A screengrab showing Ramezan Soltan-Mohammadi, an employee of the Iran's Interests Section in Washington DC, threatening Iranian protesters (May 2024)

US Court Extends Order Against Iranian Official for Threatening Protester

Tuesday, 06/18/2024

A US court has extended a temporary restraining order against Ramezan Soltan-Mohammadi, an employee of Iran's Interests Section in Washington, after he was seen threatening an Iranian protester last month.

Demonstrators against the Iranian government had gathered at a memorial service hosted by the Islamic Education Center (IEC) in Maryland, commemorating the deaths of President Ebrahim Raisi and Iran's foreign minister, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, who died in a freak helicopter crash last month.

In a video posted on social media, Soltan-Mohammadi was seen making a death gesture at Siamak Aram, an activist who fled Iran in 2011.

After three sessions, the civil court in Maryland decided to extend the initial temporary order until the end of the year.

It prohibits Soltan-Mohammadi from contacting, threatening, or approaching Aram's residence and workplace, as stated by his lawyer on Instagram.

It is the latest in a string of attacks on Iranians abroad over the last two years, including attacks and plots against Iran International journalists.

Roya Boroumand, the Executive Director of Abdorrahman Boroumand Center for Human Rights and an expert witness at the court, told Iran International that this latest order carried significant implications.

“First, it sends a message to individuals and their superiors that they cannot act with impunity in any nation. While such threats may be allowed in Iran, this order ensures a record is established, deterring future threats against individuals. Past incidents have demonstrated that these threats can materialize, underscoring the necessity of this precautionary measure,” Boroumand said.

In August 2023, a Fox News Digital report disclosed a three-page letter from the GOP detailing mosques and centers in Maryland, Texas, Michigan, and Virginia with alleged links to the Iranian regime. The report asserted that the Islamic Education Center in Maryland received funding from the Alavi Foundation, which the Iranian government purportedly controls, and from Abolfazl Bahram Nahidian, an Iranian Imam based in Washington.

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