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Two Iranians Sentenced For Spying On Opponents Of Iranian Regime In US

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Two Iranians who were charged with collecting information on U.S. citizens and opponents of the Iranian regime have been sentenced to jail.

Ahmadreza Mohammadi-Doostdar, 39, a dual U.S.-Iranian citizen, was sentenced to prison for 38 months and a fine of $14,153. Majid Ghorbani, 60, an Iranian citizen and resident of California, was jailed for 30 months.

Both of them were convicted after pleading guilty of collecting identifying information about American citizens and U.S. nationals who are members of the group Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK), the Department of Justice said.

MEK is Iran's biggest anti-government political and militant opposition group.

"This case illustrates Iran's targeting of Americans in the United States in order to silence those who oppose the Iranian regime or otherwise further its goals," said Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers. He added that the defendants, working for Iran, gathered information on Americans that could then be used by the Iranian intelligence services to intimidate or harm them or their families.

Doostdar had admitted that he traveled to the United States from Iran on three occasions to meet Ghorbani and to convey directions for his activities on behalf of the government of Iran.

In September 2017, Ghorbani attended a rally in New York City organized by the Mujahadeen-e-Khalq (MEK). At the rally, which saw U.S. citizens denouncing the Iranian regime, Ghorbani photographed rally attendees, including MEK leaders.

Ghorbani admitted to gathering information on rally attendees to provide to Doostdar and ultimately to individuals in Iran, for which he was paid $2,000.

In May 2018, Ghorbani traveled to another MEK rally, this time in Washington, D.C., where he collected information on participants critical of the Iranian regime.

Both of them were arrested later that year.

This case was investigated by the FBI's Washington and Los Angeles Field Offices.

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