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WASHINGTON: The United States announced criminal charges on Thursday against two Iranians it accuses of launching a cyber disinformation campaign to meddle in the 2020 US presidential election that targeted voters as well as elected members of Congress and a U.S. media company.

The U.S. Treasury also announced it was imposing sanctions on six Iranians and one Iranian group for trying to influence the 2020 U.S. election.

Seyyed Mohammad Hosein Musa Kazemi, 24, and Sajjad Kashian 27, are each charged with obtaining confidential U.S. voting information from at least one state election website and conspiring with others to sow disinformation to try to undermine Americans’ confidence in the election’s integrity. Senior U.S. law enforcement officials told reporters on Thursday they had no evidence to suggest that any of the alleged hacking activity had an impact on the election results.

The indictment alleges the Iranian hackers gained access to an unnamed U.S. media company’s computer network in a plot to disseminate false claims about the election, but their plot was foiled through intervention by the FBI and the company, which the indictment did not identify by name.

As part of their alleged conspiracy, they also sent Facebook messages purporting to be a group of volunteers from the far-right Proud Boys group to Republican members of Congress and members of then-President Donald Trump’s campaign, the indictment alleges.

It also alleges they tried to access voter registration data from 11 state websites, and in one case managed to download data from one state website that contained information about 100,000 of its registered voters.

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