Senators propose sanctions against Islamic Republic over plot to kidnap Masih Alinejad

Democratic Senators Ben Cardin and Republican Pat Toomey introduced legislation on Dec. 2, 2021 that would propose sanctions be placed on the Islamic Republic over the foiled plot to kidnap Iranian-American journalist and women’s rights activist, Masih Alinejad.

Both senators said their legislation would seek to hold Tehran accountable for a plot to kidnap Alinejad. They also said it would help prevent any other attempted kidnapping on U.S. soil by foreign adversaries.

“If you dare to attempt to come to our nation and kidnap an American citizen, there will be dire consequences,” Cardin said at the news conference. 

The lawmakers added they will do everything possible to have the bill passed and sent the desk of President Biden to sign it into law. 

The current path of the proposed bill is unclear, according to a report by Reuters, though Toomey offered some optimism.

“I am cautiously optimistic,” Toomey said at the news conference. 

The Department of Justice charged four Iranian nationals in July with conducting a plot to kidnap the Brooklyn-based Alinejad for publishing material that was critical of the country’s government. 

In a statement, the Department of Treasury said in September that the four Iranian intelligence operatives will be sanctioned for their failed plot attempt, Reuters reported. 

“I was honored to join @senatorCardin and @SenToomey as they introduced the bipartisan “Masih Alinejad Harassment and Unlawful Targeting Act,” Alienjad wrote in a tweet on Thursday. “More senators are lining up to support. It’s time to punish Islamic Republic terrorism and threats against journalists and activists.”

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