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US sanctions Iranian officials over alleged plots to assassinate US officials

It is unclear whether the Iranian officials will be affected by the sanctions at all.

Published: December 10, 2023 2:48pm

The U.S. Treasury Department announced sanctions against two Iranian intelligence officials for allegedly recruiting individuals for assassination operations targeting U.S. officials. 

Working on behalf of Iran's Ministry of Intelligence and Security, Majid Dastjani Farahani and Mohammad Mahdi Kanpour Ardestani "recruited individuals for various operations in the United States, to include lethal targeting of current and former U.S. Government officials as revenge for the death of Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force Commander Qasem Soleimani," the Treasury said Friday. "Farahani and Ardestani also recruited individuals for surveillance activities focused on religious sites, businesses, and other facilities in the United States."

The sanctions against Farahani and Ardestani were announced alongside sanctions against people in Afghanistan, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti, Liberia, China, South Sudan and Uganda. The Treasury said it purposely announced the sanctions days before the 75th anniversary of the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was signed on Dec.10, 1948.

Individuals sanctioned by the Treasury Department will no longer be able to access their property and assets in the U.S. However, it is unclear whether Farahani or Ardestani will be affected by the sanctions at all, as it is unknown whether they have any U.S.-based property or assets.

Iranian officials have threatened or plotted assassinations of numerous U.S. figures, including former national security advisor John Bolton, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Iranian-American journalist Masih Alinejad. It is unclear whether Farahani or Ardestani were involved in any of these high-profile assassination plots.

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