The Algemeiner reports - “I am here to share a secret with you,” Alinejad said at a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on US policy towards Iran. “The White House warned me earlier this year that there have been more than 31 threats against my life on US soil, and, in an email, the administration strongly advised me to go into Witness Protection. If none of you knows what Witness Protection is, it means that I have to change my identity…I have to change my name and disappear. This is exactly what the Islamic Republic of Iran wants.”
In January, the Justice Department announced the arrest of three men in a murder-for-hire conspiracy orchestrated by Iran to kill Alinejad at her home in Brooklyn, NY. According to the indictment, one of the men was “about to execute the attack on the victim” when he was arrested with a loaded AK-47-style rifle outside the home in August 2022.
Alinejad’s testimony Thursday is the first time she has revealed that the administration asked her to enter the Witness Protection program.
The White House did not immediately respond to The Algemeiner’s request for comment.
Alinejad also slammed President Joe Biden and the administration for their response to the Iranian threats against her, which also included a 2021 kidnapping plot.
“The Biden administration’s weak responses [are] not putting me at risk, it’s putting the lives of all Americans at risk and signals to the Islamic Republic that, actually, you can come and target more American dissidents,” Alinejad said. “When President Biden says that ‘we stand with the people of Iran,’ we the people of Iran really don’t want him and his administration to stand with us. Please sit down with your own allies and make a concrete decision to isolate the kidnappers and killers of the Islamic Republic.”
Thursday’s hearing comes as the Biden administration on Monday informed Congress that it had waived sanctions on $6 billion in frozen Iranian assets as part of a deal to secure the release of five Americans held in Iranian custody. The Biden administration has insisted that Iran will only be able to use the funds for humanitarian purposes.
Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC), who chaired Thursday’s hearing, called that argument “willfully negligent.”
“The release of $6 billion to the regime, building on the $10 billion [made] available from Iraq, will fund the regime’s mass murder,” Wilson said. “Money is fungible, and it is willfully negligent to assert that the regime plans to use the money for humanitarian purposes.”
Ranking Member Dean Phillips (D-MN) meanwhile sought common ground with his Republican colleagues, saying he understood criticism of the deal but hoped it could signal a diplomatic opening with Iran.
“On the surface, I understand the questions about the $6 billion,” Phillips said. “It is my hope, it is my expectation, that this is a baby step — a carrot, if you will — to reduce this behavior, to provide an incentive to modify behavior moving forward.”
Source - The Algemeiner/Andrew Bernard/X -