Canada condemns Iran after kidnapping conspiracy alleged in U.S. indictment
The Canadian government stated that after the U.S. authorities accused four Iranians of conspiracy to lure five people (including three people living in Canada) to Iran, the Canadian government “resolutely condemns Iran’s intimidation and foreign interference patterns”.
“Journalists and media workers are the cornerstone of any fair, strong and vibrant society. They must work freely without fear. Any violence and intimidation of journalists is totally unacceptable and must be condemned,” Global Affairs Canada Ministry spokesperson said. Statement to CBC News.
“We take this issue very seriously, and Canada will continue to work closely with allies and partners around the world to counter foreign interference and protect journalists.”
“Canada strongly condemns the Iranian model [of] Intimidation and foreign interference,” the statement read.
U.S. authorities Four Iranians charged on Wednesday In the so-called kidnapping conspiracy. According to the US authorities, all four defendants are fugitives and are believed to be in Iran.
The three individuals allegedly targeted in Canada did not specify in the US indictment, nor did they mention their respective occupations.
The indictment stated that all individuals targeted in the kidnapping conspiracy were critical of Iran.
The court documents did identify an American target as a “journalist, writer, and human rights activist,” and described a British target as an “Iranian diaspora reporter and political commentator.”
Masih Alinejad was not named in the indictment, but Reuters and Alinejad herself have confirmed that she is the Iranian-American target mentioned in the court documents.
“It’s like a horror movie,” Alinejad told CBC News. Power and politics.
“I was shocked myself. I couldn’t believe that the Iranian hostage-takers were so close to me. Eight months ago, the FBI just came to my house and they told me you are under surveillance,” Irene Nejad told the host David Cochrane.
Watch: Alleged targets of Iranian kidnapping conspiracy made public
Erin Ahmadinejad said that she learned the details of the alleged kidnapping conspiracy when the indictment was announced yesterday in Manhattan Federal Court.
“This [Iranian] The intelligence department hired a private investigator and sent them to take photos of your private life, photos of my husband, photos of my children, and even my friends and me. You know, walking around, where do I go. This is why the FBI actually sent me to the safe house,” Irene Nejad said.
The indictment alleges that the defendant lied to a private investigator
The indictment stated that the defendant-described as forming an “Iranian Intelligence Network”-used false pretexts to seek the services of a private investigator in Canada to locate and monitor three targets.
“The network falsely claimed that the purpose of the surveillance mission was to locate debtors for private clients located in the Middle East, and hired private investigators to monitor and take photos and videos of the target work and residence, and conduct background checks on their families, occupations and assets,” the indictment Say.
CBC News has contacted the Canadian Department of Public Safety for comments.
Ward Elcock, the former director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Agency, said he believes that Canadian authorities will also alert Canadian targets of the network.
‘This is not so unusual’
“office [FBI] and service [CSIS] Will cooperate very closely, and over the years, I believe that this information will be passed on to Canadians and to the service,” Elcock told Power and politics.
Watch: A former CSIS director suspected of conspiracy to kidnap an American journalist by Iran
“The extreme nature of their seeming plans is definitely a step further than what I have heard before. Having said that, trying to lure people back to Iran or other countries, trying to lure their citizens back to their country, is not all too bad. It’s normal. It doesn’t happen every day anyway, but it does happen.”
Ali Nejad called on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Canadian government to conduct “appropriate and serious” investigations to protect journalists.
“Honestly, it’s not just me. Many journalists live under… threats every day. There are also many activists, many opposition dissidents, many families,” Alinejad said.
Canadian family members criticized the Iranian government after they lost their loved ones in the Ukrainian International Airlines flight 752 crash. They reported to the Canadian authorities in the past year that they had become targets of threats and intimidation – they blamed Tehran.
The victim’s family has reported the crime Phone calls, online threats, and family members being approached, CBC News reported.