Senators propose sanctions against Iran over alleged plot to kidnap US journalist

Sens. Ben CardinBenjamin (Ben) Louis CardinSALT change likely to be cut from bill, say Senate Democrats Senators huddle on Russia sanctions as tensions escalate On The Money — Support for new COVID-19 relief grows MORE (D-Md.) and Pat ToomeyPatrick (Pat) Joseph ToomeyConservatives are outraged that Sarah Bloom Raskin actually believes in capitalism Meet Washington's most ineffective senator: Joe Manchin Black women look to build upon gains in coming elections MORE (R-Pa.) on Thursday announced legislation that would propose sanctions be placed on Iran over an alleged plot to kidnap U.S.-based journalist Masih Alinejad.

In a news conference, both senators said their legislation would seek to hold Iran 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. 

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The lawmakers added they will do everything possible to have the bill passed and sent the desk of President BidenJoe BidenNorth Korea conducts potential 6th missile test in a month Clyburn predicts Supreme Court contender J. Michelle Childs would get GOP votes Overnight Defense & National Security — US delivers written response to Russia MORE 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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