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WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Attorney General Merrick Garland announced Friday that three members of an Eastern European crime organization are now facing murder-for-hire charges tied to Iran.

“The government of Iran has previously targeted dissonance around the world, including the victim who opposed the regime’s violation of human rights,” Garland said.

The intended target was U.S. Iranian journalist, Masih Alinejad who reports on Iran’s human rights abuses.

“The conduct charged in today’s case shows just how far Iranian actors are willing to go to silence critics of the Iranian regime,” FBI Director Christopher Wray said.

Lawmakers on Capitol Hill say this crime demonstrates why it’s so important for the U.S. to support the people of Iran.

“The courageous Iranian people are not backing down,” Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-N.Y.) said.
Tenney and Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J) want Congress to pass a resolution expressing support for the Iranians fighting for their freedom.

“It urges the Biden administration to meet the moment and do everything in its power to stand with the Iranian people,” Tenney said.

“We’re making it clear that we support the brave individuals committed to freedom and human rights in Iran and around the world,” Gottheimer said.

Actor and activist Nazanin Boniadi hopes the U.S. doesn’t stop there.

“We need accountability, ways to hold the Iranian regime officials and human rights abuses accountable,” Boniadi said.

Boniadi and the lawmakers say that should include countering Iran’s restrictions on the internet so people can tell the world their stories.