US Indicts Iranian Nationals who Allegedly Interfered in the 2020 Election

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) announced indictments against two Iranians who were allegedly involved in an online “disinformation and threat” campaign to influence American voters in the 2020 US presidential election.

The DOJ said that Iranian nationals Seyyed Mohammad Hosein Musa Kazemi, 24, and Sajjad Kashian, 27,  took confidential U.S. voter information, threatened voters by email, created and disseminated a video containing disinformation, tried to breach several states’ voting-related websites, and hacked a U.S. media company.

“The allegations illustrate how foreign disinformation campaigns operate and seek to influence the American public. The Department is committed to exposing and disrupting malign foreign influence efforts using all available tools, including criminal charges,” said Assistant Attorney General Matthew G. Olsen of the Justice Department’s National Security Division.

The US Treasury also announced sanctions against the employer of Kazemi and Kashian, Net Peygard Samavat, which is owned by Emennet Pasargad.

Among those sanctioned were Iran nationals and Emennet board of directors Mostafa Sarmadi, Seyyed Mehdi Hashemi Toghroljerdi, and Hosein Akbari Nodeh.

“Treasury will continue to counter efforts to undermine the integrity of our election systems. Today’s action underscores the U.S. government’s commitment to hold state-sponsored actors accountable for attempting to undermine public confidence in the electoral process and U.S. institutions,” said Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo.  

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