US issues $10m reward for information on Iran's role in 2020 election

Two suspected Iranian hackers were charged in November 2021 for their alleged role in election email campaign

A county worker collects a mail-in ballot in a drop off area at the Clark County Election Department in Las Vegas. AP
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The US is looking for information on Iran's reported interference in the 2020 presidential election, the State Department said on Tuesday, after charges were issued against two suspected Iranian hackers in November.

“The [State] Department seeks information on Iranian cyber actors Seyyed Mohammad Hosein Musa Kazemi and Sajjad Kashian — contractors employed by Iranian cyber company Emennet Pasargad — who participated in an Iranian state-sponsored, multi-phased online operation that attempted to interfere with the 2020 US presidential election,” the statement read.

The two suspected hackers were charged in November 2021 for their alleged role in an election email campaign encouraging people to re-elect former president Donald Trump.

President Joe Biden won the 2020 presidential election, despite continued baseless challenges by Mr Trump.

The two men are facing sanctions and federal criminal charges.

The US is seeking additional information on the scheme the two were orchestrating, reportedly under the direction of the Iranian government — with an offer of up to $10m in rewards for such information.

“State-sponsored actors, including Iranian groups, have engaged in covert and deceptive activities to disseminate disinformation through websites and social media designed to undermine Americans’ faith in US elections,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement on the November charges.

US federal agencies had been prepared for possible foreign interference by state actors influenced by Russia, Iran or China, but the Office of the Director of National Intelligence said foreign hackers did not have any major impact on the election.

“We have no indications that any foreign actor attempted to interfere in the 2020 US elections by altering any technical aspect of the voting process, including voter registration, ballot casting, vote tabulation or reporting results,” the spring 2021 report read.

Updated: February 01, 2022, 9:09 PM