2 charged with acting as agents for Iranian government

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Two people have been charged with acting as agents for the Iranian government.

Ahmadreza Mohammadi-Doostdar and Majid Ghorbani, who were arrested on Aug. 9, had allegedly been monitoring Israeli and Jewish facilities in the United States, while also gathering information on individuals in the US who were part of the Iranian opposition group Mujahedeen-e-Khalq, according to a news release Monday.

“The indictment charged Doostdar and Ghorbani with knowingly acting as agents of the government of Iran without prior notification to the Attorney General, providing services to Iran in violation of US sanctions, and conspiracy,” the news release from the DC US Attorney’s Office read.

The release said Doostdar had photographed security features as part of a surveillance effort on a Jewish facility in Chicago on or around July 21, 2017.

Additionally, on or near September 20, 2017, Ghorbani allegedly took photos of individuals at an MEK event in New York where people were protesting the Iranian regime, according to the news release.

In one instance, the two met in Decmber 2017, and Doostdar paid Ghorbani about $2,000 for photographs — some with captions describing the people featured in the images — he had taken at the MEK event that September, the news release said.

“This alleged activity demonstrates a continued interest in targeting the United States, as well as potential opposition groups located in the United States,” said Acting Executive Assistant Director Michael McGarrity in Monday’s news release. “The FBI will continue to identify and disrupt those individuals who seek to engage in unlawful activity, on behalf of Iran, on US soil.”

Ghorbani is set to appear in DC District Court at 9:30 am ET Tuesday for a detention hearing. No further information on Doostdar was in the release.