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

Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) gives an opening statement during a Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee hearing to discuss oversight of the Department of Treasury and Federal Reserve over the CARES Act on Tuesday, November 30, 2021.
Greg Nash

Sens. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Pat Toomey (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. 

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.”

Tags Ben Cardin Brooklyn Iran Joe Biden Masih Alinejad New York Pat Toomey
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