Iran

Dept. of Justice Indicts Two on Charges of Surveilling Jewish Institutions for Iran

The United States Department of Justice announced the indictment of two men for spying on Jewish organizations and anti-regime activists, The Chicago Tribune reported Monday.

In the indictment, Ahmadreza Mohammadi Doostdar, a dual U.S.-Iranian citizen, and Majid Ghorbani, an Iranian citizen and resident of California, were charged with acting as agents of Iran, as well as with violating sanctions and conspiracy.

According to the DOJ statement, “in or about July 2017, Doostdar traveled to the United States from Iran in order to collect intelligence information about entities and individuals considered by the government of Iran to be enemies of that regime, including Israeli and Jewish interests, and individuals associated with the MEK (Mujahedin-e Khalq), a group that advocates the overthrow of the current Iranian government.”

Doostdar was charged with spying on the Rohr Chabad House, a Jewish organization, around July 21, 2017, “including photographing the security features surrounding the facility.”

Ghorbani is alleged to have attended an MEK rally in New York City last September and photographed individuals there. A few months later he is accused of having exchanged 28 photographs with notes identifying the subjects in the pictures to Doostdar for $2,000. The statement says that the photographs and a receipt were found in Doostdar’s luggage as he traveled through a U.S. airport on his way back to Iran.

After meeting with Doostdar in Iran in March 2018, Ghorbani attended an MEK-affiliated event in Washington D.C. and apparently photographed participants. He later contacted Ghorbani to learn of ways to transmit the information he learned to Iran.

The announcement of the arrests come just months after European authorities broke up an Iran-backed terror plot targeting a dissident group in Paris.

In January, Benjamin Weinthal reported in The Jerusalem Post that Germany sought ten members of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force for spying on Jewish and Israeli institutions across the nation.

In June of last year, the Department of Justice announced the arrests of two men for spying on Jewish and Israeli institutions on behalf of Hezbollah, the Iran-backed terrorist group.

[Photo: Sebmol / WikiCommons ]