Outgoing reformist Iranian President Mohammad Khatami talks on the telephone with the mom of feminine journalist Masih Alinejad, after assembly with journalists in Tehran, Iran, July 13, 2005. (AP)
NEW YORK: An Iranian foreign ministry spokesperson stated Wednesday that accusations by US authorities that Iran is plotting to kidnap Iranians overseas who criticize the nation are “baseless and ridiculous.”
The spokesperson, Saeed Khatibzadeh, was quoted by Iran’s semiofficial ISNA news agency a day after US federal authorities in New York announced criminal charges against four Iranian intelligence operatives.
The authorities, quoting from an indictment, say the individuals plotted to kidnap a prominent Iranian opposition activist and writer in exile from her Brooklyn residence and take her to Tehran.
Khatibzadeh derided the plot as “Hollywood-style situations” and “baseless and ridiculous” accusations unworthy of a response.
“Making such an imaginary story is not unlikely by the US Its total quick historical past is full of assassination, kidnapping and sabotage in different nations,” Khatibzadeh stated.
Later Wednesday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki informed a briefing that Iran’s “actions to attempt to silence the voices of those peacefully working to address the situation both inside of Iran and outside of Iran are appalling.”
“We categorically condemn Iran’s harmful and despicable reported plot to kidnap a US citizen on US soil,” she stated.
She stated regulation enforcement actions like these introduced Tuesday have been half of a technique to defend US residents and pursuits that features actions taken to defend US forces from Iranian-backed militant teams and diplomatic efforts to constrain Iran’s nuclear program.
The indictment in Manhattan federal courtroom described the plot as half of a wider plan to lure three people in Canada and a fifth particular person within the United Kingdom, together with people within the United Arab Emirates, to Iran.
The identities of the alleged victims weren’t launched however Brooklyn-based Masih Alinejad confirmed that authorities had informed her she was among the many targets.
“I knew that this is the nature of the Islamic Republic, you know, kidnapping people, arresting people, torturing people, killing people. But I couldn’t believe it that this is going to happen to me in United States of America,” Alinejad told The Associated Press.
Alinejad, who worked for years as a journalist in Iran, long has been targeted by its theocracy after fleeing the country following its disputed 2009 presidential election and crackdown.
She is a prominent figure on Farsi-language satellite channels abroad that critically view Iran and has worked as a contractor for US-funded Voice of America’s Farsi-language network since 2015. She became a US citizen in October 2019.