Federal prosecutors announced an indictment against an Iranian intelligence official, Alireza Farahani, and three Iranian intelligence assets who were involved in a plot to kidnap Iranian-American activist Masih Alinejad.
A California man, Niloufar Bahadorifar, was indicted on charges of aiding the kidnap plot financially.
Alinejad was informed of the kidnap plot last year and has been living in a safe house while the investigation proceeded.
“My goal was to come to the land of opportunity, not be harassed by my own government in New York,” Alinejad said. “That shows how much they’re scared of me.”
The Iranians tried to lure Alinejad to Iran by using her relatives, but her family refused to cooperate. They then began to surveil and record Alinejad and her family in Brooklyn, plotting to spirit her out of the country to Venezuela.
The Iranian government arrested her brother who remained in the country last year and sentenced him to eight years in prison for her activism, the indictment unsealed Tuesday said.
Ms. Alinejad receives videos from Iran of women being harassed, taking off the hijab covering and of protests, which she posts to her widely followed social-media accounts, bringing attention to the issues. The Iranian government has previously threatened a decade of imprisonment for dissenters who share videos that are considered against the regime. Still, Ms. Alinejad said, she continues to be bombarded with footage.
Meanwhile, the Biden administration remains oblivious to Iran’s provocations. Just recently, an Iranian Revolutionary Guards Commander urged Iraqi militias to target Americans in their attacks. And the Iranian navy sent several of its vessels into the Atlantic Ocean because, as their naval commander said, it was a response to U.S. claims that Iran would “never be able to have a presence in the Atlantic.”
All this leads to the question of what the hell we are doing negotiating with these gangsters.
Iran executed France-based journalist Ruhollah Zam in December, after he was abducted by Iranian forces and sentenced to death for inciting antigovernment protests in 2017.
The execution of Mr. Zam, who ran a popular news channel on the Telegram messaging platform that he used to share news and logistics involving antigovernment unrest in Iran, showed the willingness of Iranian authorities to defy international opposition in its suppression of the country’s media and opposition activists, and demonstrated the reach of its intelligence services beyond the country’s borders.
Instead of ramping up the pressure on the Iranian economy that contracted 11 percent last year, Biden has ignored Iranian savagery in search of a way to reenter the flawed nuclear deal.
At some point, the Biden administration will have to stop letting the Iranians urinate on its shoes while it’s inviting them to further negotiations about their nuclear program. Tehran is not interested in making concessions, and it is not interested in changing its behavior. The mullahs think the Biden administration is a bunch of naïve suckers, and they don’t really hide their contempt.
For starters, the U.S. must not make concessions to regimes that plot to kidnap American citizens who dare criticize that regime.
Thankfully, Iran appears to be overplaying its hand. The Iranians are no more interested in reentering the nuclear deal as they are in obeying international norms and laws. But Biden’s strong opening position — no talks without a halt to enrichment activities — has melted away to the point that he is now pulling back on sanctions, even though the Iranians are enriching uranium faster than ever.
Biden is eager to reenter the nuclear deal because all the cool kids in Europe support it. But what price will the Iranians extract from the United States to give Biden the legacy achievement of Barack Obama?