Masih Alinejad says she had been the victim of a plot ‘orchestrated’ under outgoing President Hassan Rouhani’s government
US police have charged four people over a plot to kidnap a prominent Iranian-American women’s rights activist.
Masih Alinejad, a journalist and campaigner against compulsory headscarves in Iran, said in a video clip that she had been the victim of a plot “orchestrated” under the outgoing Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.
According to a statement from the US Justice Department, the four men named in the indictment are an Iranian intelligence official and three officers who work under him.
A fifth co-conspirator in California is accused of financing the alleged operation.
“I am grateful to the FBI for foiling the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Intelligence Ministry’s plot to kidnap me,” said Alinejad in the clip.
“This plot was orchestrated under Rouhani.”
The four agents were identified as Alireza Shavaroghi Farahani, Mahmoud Khazein, Kiya Sadeghi and Omid Noori, while a fifth Iranian residing in California, Niloufar Bahadorifar, was suspected of having helped in financing the plot.
The indictment said the network uncovered by the FBI had also been scoping out other targets in Canada, the UK and the United Arab Emirates, and that the agents had hired private investigators to “surveil, photograph and video record” their target.
“Every person in the United States must be free from harassment, threats and physical harm by foreign powers,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Mark Lesko in the Justice Department’s statement.
Alinejad fled Iran in 2009 following the protests over what was seen by many as rigged presidential elections in the country.
She currently works as a presenter for the US government-funded Voice of America Persia and founded the My Stealthy Freedom campaign that calls for women under the Islamic Republic to remove their headscarves, which are mandatory in the country.
Resource: Middle East Eye