Department of State portrayed this foiled kidnapping plan simply as a law enforcement matter and referred inquiries to the Department of Justice.
WASHINGTON (PRWEB) July 17, 2021
Yesterday, we were shocked to learn that the U.S. law enforcement foiled an attempt by the Iranian Intelligence to abduct Hostage Aid Worldwide (HAW) board member Masih Alinejad, an Iranian American human rights activist, on American soil. According to the FBI, this marks the very first time that the Islamic Republic of Iran attempts to abduct an American in the United States.
We are deeply grateful for the efforts of the FBI and other U.S. law enforcement agencies in disrupting the kidnapping plot. But we are unsettled by the State Department’s notification to the Congress after the foiled abduction attempt was exposed that the Biden Administration is to lift major oil sanctions on Iran, despite Iran’s abduction attempt and despite that our fellow American hostages are still languishing in Iran’s notorious Evin prison. To our further dismay, the Department of State portrayed this foiled kidnapping plan simply as a law enforcement matter and referred inquiries to the Department of Justice. We are gravely troubled with this approach and the lack of recognition of the threat of the Iranian regime, a foreign entity, to the safety of Americans and U.S residents. It also will result in downplaying the threat to Iranian-American (and Iranian) activists and dissidents as well as to the safety of other possible targets of the Iranian regime including former hostages and their families, human rights advocates and civil society and political activists.
Here again, we, former hostages, families of current hostages and activists striving for the freedom of hostages held by state actors, express our grave concern about the administration’s Iran policy which gives precedence to reviving the nuclear deal over everything else including the safety and wellbeing of Americans.
Should the Iranian regime remain unscathed for its heinous act committed on American soil, then one can only expect this regime to be emboldened and carry out more such operations to kidnap, hurt or kill Americans even right here in America. If so, no U.S. based activists who strive for the improvement of human conditions in Iran will feel safe at home. And for that matter, other authoritarian regimes may emulate this sinister Iranian behavior and carry out similar operations with impunity in America. At that time, there will be no freedom in our country to speak of, and the liberty we are proud of and live by in America will no longer have meaning.
Thus we expect from the Administration a firm response to the Iranian regime’s attempted kidnapping of our colleague and HAW Board member, Masih Alinejad. And for the sake of liberty that defines America, for the sake of the safety and wellbeing of Americans, we call on the Administration to immediately revise its approach toward negotiations with Iran for reviving the nuclear deal and hold the Iranian regime responsible for the attempt to kidnap an American in America. Moreover, we also reiterate our demand that the Biden Administration halt any sanction relief until All American hostages are released from Iranian custody.
- Hostage Aid Worldwide (HAW) (http://www.hostageaid.org) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) NGO which assists hostage victims and their families. This is done by providing insight on their cases, coordination with governments and UN bodies and a strategy to disrupt the hostage business model by combining global advocacy with data driven methods. HAW Board members include: Masih Alinejad, Nazanin Boniadi, Barry Rosen (former hostage U.S. Embassy Tehran, 1979 – 1981), Nizar Zakka (former hostage in Iran, 2015- 2019), Kylie Moore (former Hostage Iran, 2018-2020), Xiyue Wang (former hostage in Iran, 2016 – 2019), Sam Goodwin (former hostage in Syria, 2019), Geoffrey Dive, Ali Arab and others.