21:33 GMT28 July 2021
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - A US federal court has charged four Iranian intelligence officials for allegedly participating in a kidnapping conspiracy, violating sanctions, as well as bank and wire fraud, the Justice Department said in a press release.

    "A New York federal court unsealed an indictment today charging four Iranian nationals with conspiracies related to kidnapping, sanctions violations, bank and wire fraud, and money laundering. A co-conspirator and California resident, also of Iran, faces additional structuring charges," the release said on Tuesday.

    The release said Alireza Shavaroghi Farahani, 50; Mahmoud Khazein, 42; Kiya Sadeghi, 35; and Omid Noori, 45, all of Iran, conspired to kidnap a New York City journalist of Iranian origin who criticized the Iranian government.

    Farahani is an Iranian intelligence official and the three other men are Iranian intelligence assets, the release said.

    In addition, the release said Iranian national Niloufar Bahadorifar, 46, who is currently residing in California, allegedly provided financial services that supported the kidnapping plot that began as early as June 2020.

    The four Iranian intelligence officials face up to life in prison while Bahadorifar faces up to 80 years in prison, the release said.

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    Tags:
    intelligence, arrest, charges, Kidnapping, US Department of Justice, DOJ, Iran, US
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