Iranian operative accused of plotting to assassinate ex-NSA John Bolton

Iranian operative John Bolton
John Bolton

Washington: An alleged member of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has been accused by American officials of planning to kill former US National Security Advisor John Bolton in retaliation for the 2020 assassination of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani.

On Wednesday, the US Department of Justice made public the allegations against Shahram Poursafi of Tehran, alleging that he offered an unnamed US citizen $300,000 to carry out the murder in Washington, DC, or nearby Maryland.

During the administration of US President Donald Trump, Bolton, a foreign policy hawk and outspoken supporter of regime change in Iran, served as national security advisor. However, he left his position before a US drone operation in Baghdad in January 2020 that resulted in Soleimani’s death.

Read: Iran’s Gen Soleimani killed in US Baghdad airstrike Khamenei says ‘harsh retaliation is waiting,’ Iraqis ‘dancing in the streets’ after Soleimani death: Pompeo

According to a statement from Matthew Graves, the US attorney for Washington, “Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps attempted to devise a brazen conspiracy to kill a former US official on US soil in reprisal for US actions through the Defendant.”

“The US Attorney’s Office and its law enforcement partners will do everything in our power to foil Iran and other unfriendly regimes’ murderous schemes and bring those responsible to justice,” the US Attorney’s Office stated.

Baseless accusations: Iran

Later on Wednesday, Tehran referred to the US accusations as “ridiculous and baseless.”

According to Nasser Kanaani, spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry, “Iran firmly warns against any action against Iranian citizens under the pretence of these ludicrous and unsubstantiated charges.”

According to the Justice Department, the Iranian operative “had an additional ‘job,’ for which he would pay $1 million”. It did not provide details on what the job was or whom it may have targeted.

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