US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan spoke with Iranian-American journalist and opposition activist Masih Alinejad on Wednesday and expressed his concern over her safety following the arrest of a man with a rifle outside her home in New York last week, an NSC spokesperson said in a statement.
The man, Khalid Mehdiyev, spent two days last week outside the home of Alinejad in the Brooklyn neighborhood, and at one point attempted to open the door, an FBI agent wrote in a complaint filed in Manhattan federal court last week. Police stopped him after he ran a stop sign and found the gun in the back seat of the car, according to the complaint.
Alinejad, who saw the incident as an attempt on her life by Tehran, said: "what the Iranian regime did, first trying to kidnap me and now sending someone here trying to kill me, it's a pattern. It's a continuation of their way of oppressing dissidents inside and outside Iran."
On Wednesday, Sullivan said US President Joe Biden will continue to receive updates on her situation, and added that the administration will continue to protect its citizens and dissidents from threats from Iran.
"...the US Government will use all tools at its disposal to disrupt and deter threats from Iran, including those which target US citizens and dissidents living in the United States," the NSC statement said.
Last year, Alinejad was said to be the target of a Tehran-backed kidnapping plot. She has promoted videos of women violating Iran's head covering law to her millions of social media followers.
Alinejad, who worked for years as a journalist in Iran and became a US citizen in 2019, has long been targeted by Tehran after fleeing the country following its disputed 2009 presidential election and crackdown. She’s known as a prominent figure on Farsi-language satellite channels abroad that criticize Iran.