Iran planned to kill John Bolton to avenge the death of General Soleimani, says Washington

There is a bounty on John Bolton’s head. US justice revealed on Wednesday a plot led by a member of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard to assassinate a former national security adviser in the Trump administration’s White House. The plot, believed to have been aimed at avenging the death of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani, who was killed in a January 2020 US strike, was revealed to authorities by Bolton’s alleged killer, whose identity has not been released.

The US Department of Justice said Shahram Poursafi, aka Mehdi Rezai, 45, was charged in absentia with offering to pay $300,000 to individuals in the United States to kill John Bolton, who was also the US ambassador to the US. of the UN and is considered a hawk of the American administrations, in particular regarding Iran and North Korea.

The US court’s accusations come as the Iranian regime considers a compromise offered by the European Union to save the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, which died after the United States withdrew from it in 2018 under the leadership of Donald Trump’s United States and then advised by John Bolton.

FBI informant

For months, Tehran has linked any deal to removing the Revolutionary Guards, the Islamic Republic’s ideological army, from the US blacklist of terrorist organizations.

“This is not the first time we have uncovered an Iranian plot to seek revenge on American soil, and we will work tirelessly to uncover and prevent any such attempt,” Deputy Homeland Security Secretary Matthew Olsen said in a statement.

According to the indictment, at the end of 2021, Shahram Poursafi contacted the person who allegedly committed the murder. It was actually an FBI informant with whom he had been messaging for months.

Cryptocurrencies

Shahram Poursafi instructed him to open a cryptocurrency account, then gave him the work address of a former adviser to Donald Trump, and then urged him to implement the plan by the first anniversary of Qasem Soleimani’s death.

A powerful Iranian general, the architect of Iran’s Middle East strategy, headed the Quds Force, the unit responsible for foreign operations in the Revolutionary Guard. He died on January 3, 2020 as a result of a drone strike in Baghdad.

The anniversary passed and Shahram Poursafi continued to push the informant to kill Mr. Bolton, promising him a million dollar contract for a second target if he succeeded.

The FBI released a wanted poster for Shahram Poursafi with several photos, two of which show him in a Revolutionary Guard uniform. If arrested, which is unlikely since he appears to be in Iran, Shahram Poursafi faces up to 25 years in prison.

“Severe” consequences

John Bolton, Donald Trump’s national security adviser from April 2018 to September 2019, called the 2015 nuclear deal a “huge strategic mistake.” He publicly supported Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the pact, known by its English acronym JCPOA, which aims to guarantee the civilian nature of Iran’s nuclear program.

The indictment said Mr. Bolton was informed of the plot and cooperated with investigators by allowing Pursafa to send photographs of him taken near his office in Washington. In a statement, he called Iranian officials “liars, terrorists, and enemies of the United States,” urging President Joe Biden not to withdraw from the Iran deal.

Current White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan tweeted that Tehran would face “severe consequences” if it attacked current or former US officials.

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