US DoJ Charges IRGC Member With Allegedly Plotting Ex-National Security Advisor John Bolton's Murder
14:55 GMT 10.08.2022 (Updated: 20:03 GMT 10.08.2022)
© AP Photo / Jose Luis MaganaFILE - In this Nov. 28, 2018, file photo, the Department of Justice seal is seen in Washington, D.C. The Justice Department has released a new regulation spelling out detailed nationwide requirements for sex offender registration under a law Congress passed in 2006. The regulation released Monday stems from the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act. It requires convicted sex offenders to register in the states in which they live, work or attend school. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File)
© AP Photo / Jose Luis Magana
Bolton held the highest post in his career as national security adviser under the Trump administration but was sacked by ерут-POTUS over an alleged scheme that resulted in the fiasco of proliferation talks with North Korea. Bolton is known for his radical anti-Iran views.
The US Department of Justice has charged Shahram Poursafi, who, it claims, is an operative of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, with plotting to assassinate John Bolton, the former national security adviser. Poursafi is at large and is wanted by the FBI on charges of conspiracy to murder.
"An Iranian national […] was charged by complaint, unsealed today in the District of Columbia, with use of interstate commerce facilities in the commission of murder-for-hire and with providing and attempting to provide material support to a transnational murder plot," the Justice Department said.
According to the DoJ, Poursafi is a member of the Quds Force – IRGC's division for overseas operations. The US department said that he offered $300,000 to individuals in the US for killing Bolton while he was in Washington DC or in the state of Maryland. The assassination is believed to be linked to the US' killing of Quds Force former commander Qasem Soleimani in Iraq in January 2020.
Bolton himself reacted to the news by thanking the FBI and DoJ for uncovering the reported plot, while taking a shot at the Islamic Republic of Iran, which he has historically criticized and suggested should be subjected to forced US-led regime change.
"While much cannot be said publicly right now, one point is indisputable: Iran's rulers are liars, terrorists, and enemies of the United States," he said.
In the press release, the DoJ detailed how Poursafi allegedly contacted two US individuals and negotiated Bolton's killing for $250,000 with one of them, with the price later going up to $300,000. Poursafi also allegedly hinted at a second "job" worth $1 million upon completion of the first.
Citing sources, Axios reported that the second "job" referred to former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. The unidentified individual further indicated that the DoJ "confirmed directly" to Pompeo that he was one of the targeted individuals.
The FBI and the DoJ concluded that Poursafi was affiliated to the IRGC after finding photos of him in the paramilitary group's uniform in one of the suspect's online accounts, as well as after studying his correspondence with the potential assassin, who turned out to be a confidential source for the law enforcement. Poursafi and his superiors were reportedly disappointed that the assassination did not happen by January 3, 2022 – the second anniversary of Qasem Soleimani's killing.
Qasem Soleimani was killed in a US strike in Iraq on January 3, 2020, on the orders of then-President Donald Trump. Bolton used to serve in the Trump administration but had been sacked in 2019. Nonetheless, the former national security adviser applauded the killing, expressing hope that it was the first step in overthrowing the Iranian government – a step he has long urged the US to take.