According to a press release
by the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), six men were added to the list of specially designation nationals (SDNs): Sajjad Kashian, Seyyed Kazemi, Hosein Akbari Nodeh, Mostafa Sarmadi, Seyed Mehdi Hashemi Toghroljerdi, and Mohammad Bagher Shinrakar. It also added the Iranian internet company Emen Net Pasargad to the list.
A separate notice
put out by the US Department of Justice on Thursday said that two of the men, Seyyed Kazemi and Sajjad Kashian, had also been charged "for their involvement in a cyber-enabled campaign to intimidate and influence American voters, and otherwise undermine voter confidence and sow discord, in connection with the 2020 US presidential election."
However, the metadata from those emails, which purported to be from the pro-Trump right-wing gang Proud Boys and threatened would-be voters for Joe Biden, actually pointed to a number of countries other than Iran, including Saudi Arabia, Estonia, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates, according to the Washington Post
Further, such an operation made little sense politically, as it encouraged voters to support Trump, who had unilaterally withdrawn from the 2015 nuclear deal, reimposed "maximum pressure" sanctions on Iran, and taken the two countries to the brink of war by assassinating Gen. Qasem Soleimani, a leading Iranian general and national hero.
Other operations have followed, including the mass-takedown of media
outlets from Iran but also from several other Shiite groups in Iraq, Lebanon, and Yemen, many of which had no connection to the Iranian government. The DOJ said it had seized the domains under an October 2020 decision by OFAC to designate the Iranian Islamic Radio and Television Union (IRTVU) as part of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force, which Washington has labeled without evidence as a terrorist entity.