August 4, 2021

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White House condemns ‘dangerous and despicable alleged plot’ by Iranian nationals to kidnap …

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki condemned an alleged attempt by Iranian intelligence officials to kidnap an American journalist and activist and ship her to Venezuela.

While Ms Psaki said it was a legal matter and the White House would not weigh in on specifics, she did criticise the alleged act.

“Overall though, we categorically condemn Iran’s dangerous and despicable reported plot to kidnap a US citizen on US soil,” she said. “We will forcefully defend US citizens and US interests. That includes law enforcement actions like the one announced yesterday, as well as the actions the president has taken to defend US forces in the region from Iranian-backed militant groups.”

The words came after a federal court in New York unsealed the indictments of four Iranian intelligence officials and one California resident, also of Iranian origin, charged with conspiracies to kidnap a US journalist and human-rights activist.

Masih Alinejad tweeted on Wednesday that she was the journalist in question.

“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,” she said in reference to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

The Justice Department’s announcement found that the alleged plotters looked for methods to transport Ms Alinejad out of the United States and rendition her to Iran. The group allegedly researched a service using military-style speedboats out of New York City and maritime travel from New York to Venezuela, whose regime is friendly with Iran.

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