Statement by National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan Following Arrest in Alleged Assassination Plot Targeting Critic of the Iranian Regime
Today, the Department of Justice is bringing to a courthouse in New York a defendant charged in a failed plot to assassinate a U.S. citizen on U.S. soil who has been speaking out against the Iranian regime. That defendant, who is alleged to have directed the plot from Iran, is charged alongside the alleged hitman, arrested late last year in New York, as well as a third individual arrested overseas and facing extradition to the United States.
The law enforcement action today is the latest U.S. disruption of plotting activities against this victim and other Americans. It follows a disturbing pattern of Iranian Government-sponsored efforts to kill, torture, and intimidate into silence activists for speaking out for the fundamental rights and freedoms of Iranians around the world.
Today’s announcement by the Attorney General should serve as a warning about the long reach of the U.S. Government in defense of Americans everywhere. It demonstrates our steadfast resolve to impose consequences, consistent with our laws, on those involved in plotting against our citizens and our interests. From the very beginning of this Administration, we have been clear that Iran’s apparatus of transnational repression and terrorism must be confronted through exposure, arrests, sanctions, and other means of accountability. Let there be no mistake: The United States will not allow Iran or other authoritarian regimes to export efforts to stifle peaceful dissent through threats and intimidation against those living lawfully in our country. And we will hold those involved in such activities accountable under the law, just as we are doing today.
We commend the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation for their unwavering commitment to keeping Americans safe.