The United States Government imposed sanctions this Thursday on six citizens and an Iranian company for an attempt to “interference” in the 2020 presidential elections through a computer operation with which they sought to “undermine confidence” in the US electoral system and threatened voters.
The operation was coordinated by Iranian IT company Emennet Pasargad, which regularly works with the Tehran regime, through which he distributed “disinformation on social networks and sent threatening emails, as well as fraudulent videos,” the United States Department of the Treasury said in a statement.
“Today’s action highlights the US Government’s commitment to holding state-backed actors accountable who attempt to undermine public confidence in the US electoral process and institutions,” the undersecretary of the Treasury noted in the note. Wally Adeyemo.
According to Washington, the alleged interference operation took place between August and November 2020.
Among the six indicated is its main administrator, Mohammad Bagher Shirinkar, on whom sanctions were also issued in February 2019, when the company he runs was accused by Washington of “assisting” and “providing” financial, material or technological support to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.
The other five Iranian citizens are Emennet employees, Seyyed Mohammad Hosein Musa Kazemi and Sajjad kashian; and three members of the Board of Directors, Mostafa Sarmadi, Seyyed Mehdi Hashemi Toghroljerdi and Hosein Akbari Nodeh.
The sanctioned individuals obtained voter information from state electoral pages in the United States, with which “prepared and disseminated disinformation about the elections and their security”, Indicated the Treasury.
Finally, this operation was dismantled by the Official Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
As a result of the decision of the United States Department of the Treasury, the assets that the penalized individuals and companies may have under the jurisdiction of the country are blocked and Direct financial transactions or transactions with owned entities are prohibited.
In parallel, the US Department of Justice announced the indictment against two of those indicated by the Treasury, Seyyed Kazemi, 24, and Sajjad Kashian, 27, on various charges, among them, voter intimidation and computer fraud.
Kazemi and Kashian allegedly entered the voter registration websites of 11 US states, and with that data they sent emails threatening physical attacks on voters, many Democrats, if they did not change parties and vote for the then Republican candidate and president, Donald Trump.
The defendants participated “in a directed and coordinated campaign to undermine confidence in the American electoral system and sow discord”In the population, he said in a statement Matthew olsen, deputy prosecutor in charge of national security.
Both Iranian hackers reportedly obtained confidential information about approximately 100,000 voters in an American state.
Posing as members of the far-right group Proud Boys, they would have spread on Facebook, as well as in emails to Republican officials and the media, false messages accompanied by a video about an alleged electoral fraud.
The day after the elections, They allegedly tried to tamper with the computer system of an unidentified US media outlet to continue their disinformation campaign.
Mohammad Hossein Moussa Kazemi faces 26 years in prison and Sajjad Kashian 11 years.
In March, a report from the National Intelligence Directorate stated that Iran had mounted a clandestine campaign to weaken President Donald Trump’s chances of reelection, who was eventually defeated by his Democratic opponent Joe Biden.
Presented as “experienced hackers”, Mohammad Hossein Moussa Kazemi and Sajjad Kashian worked for the Iranian cybersecurity company Eeleyanet Gostar, later renamed Emennet Pasargad.
According to the US authorities, they have worked for various government agencies in their country, including the Council of Guardians of the Constitution.
(With information from EFE, AFP and Europa Press)
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