Boston-based political scientist accused of acting as an unregistered agent of Iran

A Boston-based political scientist and author has been arrested and charged with acting as an unregistered foreign agent of the Iranian government.

Federal prosecutors said Kaveh Lotfolah Afrasiabi, 63, was to make an initial appearance in US District Court in Massachusetts Tuesday after his arrest one day earlier at his home in Watertown on charges of conspiracy to act as an unregistered foreign agent and acting as a foreign agent without registration.
CNN has reached out to an attorney for Afrasiabi for comment.
A criminal complaint unsealed Tuesday in federal court in Brooklyn said Afrasiabi was secretly employed by the Iranian government and paid by Iranian diplomats at the country’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York since at least 2007.
Afrasiabi allegedly sought to influence the American public and American policymakers for the benefit of his employer, the Iranian government, by disguising propaganda as objective analysis and expertise,” Seth DuCharme, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, 在声明中说.
Afrasiabi, a citizen of Iran and a lawful permanent resident of the US, has published books and articles, and appeared on English-language TV programs as a political scientist, former political science professor or foreign affairs expert, according to federal prosecutors.
The complaint said Afrasiabi, 从 2007 至 2021, earned a significant portion of his income from services performedat the direction and under the controlof Iran’s government.
Afrasiabi is accused of seekingapproval, direction and guidancefrom Iranian officials while publishing articles and books and making television appearances in which headvocated for positions, policies and perspectivesfavored by Iranian officials, 根据投诉.
Federal prosecutors accuse Afrasiabi of emailing Iranian officials in January 2020 with advice forretaliationfor the US military airstrike that killed Qasem Soleimani, head of the Revolutionary GuardsQuds Force, an elite unit that handles Iran’s overseas operations.
Afrasiabi at the time proposed the Iranian governmentend all inspections and end all information on Iran’s nuclear activities pending a [United Nations Security Council] condemnation of [the United States’] illegal crime,” 根据投诉. Afrasiabi claimed the move wouldstrike fear in the heart of [的] enemy.
If convicted onf both charges, Afrasiabi faces a maximum sentence of 10 入狱多年.

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