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US Citizen Charged in Attack at Iran’s DC Office

U.S. prosecutors have charged an American of Iranian origin with assaulting and kidnapping staff at Iran's diplomatic office in Washington in an apparent act of revenge against Tehran.

Alireza Fakhar, 55, appeared in a Washington court on Thursday to hear the charges related to the previous day's violent incident at the Iranian Interests Section in a northwest Washington office building.

Prosecutors filed three charges against the Fairfax, Virginia, resident, including assault with a dangerous weapon, kidnapping, and damaging property owned by a foreign government.

In a criminal complaint submitted to the court, a U.S. Secret Service agent said a review of security footage showed Fakhar entering the first floor of the office and hitting an employee on the head with a BB gun. Fakhar was seen directing the employee up to the second floor, where Fakhar brandished the gun and a knife and yelled at other staff members, who locked themselves in a bathroom and behind shatterproof glass, the agent said.

The agent said the video also showed Fakhar using the knife and a chair to smash two TV screens, several trophy cases and a computer monitor, causing at least $9,000 worth of damage.

The complaint said Fakhar dropped the gun as two security agents approached and apprehended him. It said he later told police that he had gone to the Iranian office to scare the staff and seek "revenge" for the Iranian government's treatment of his people.

The employee struck by the gun was sent to a hospital with head wounds.

If convicted, Fakhar could face up to life in prison for kidnapping, and up to five and 10 years for property damage and assault, respectively.

Source: Voice of America


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