Poursafi, 45, from Tehran, was charged with plotting in a Washington DC court.
The United States filed charges against a member of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard for planning the assassination of John Bolton, who was former President Donald Trump’s National Security Adviser (2017-2021).
According to the indictment from the Department of Justice, released this Wednesday, Shahram Poursafi, also known as Mehdi Rezayi, would have tried to assassinate Bolton in retaliation for the death of the head of the Revolutionary Guard Qasem Soleimani in a US operation in January 2020. Poursafi, 45, originally from Tehran, was charged with a murder plot in a Washington DC court for planning in late 2021 to pay $300,000 for hitmen to kill Bolton in the US capital’s metropolitan area.
In social networks, the former Trump adviser thanked the Department of Justice for starting the criminal process, the FBI for tracking the assassination plan and the US Secret Service for providing protection. “The Iranian leaders are liars, terrorists and enemies of the United States. (…) They are a global threat that is growing,” Bolton said. For his part, the current National Security Adviser to President Joe Biden, Jake Sullivan, said in a statement that the Government “will not give in when it comes to protecting all Americans from violence and terrorism”. “If Iran attacks any of our citizens, including those who work or have worked as civil servants, they will face serious consequences,” he warned.
According to the Department of Justice, the member of the Revolutionary Guard maintained contacts between October 2021 and April 2022 with hitmen in the United States to track Bolton’s movements and execute his murder.
In these communications, Poursafi revealed pressure from his chain of command for the crime to be carried out as soon as possible and promised to have a second assignment, of which no further details were given. He also came to regret that the murder was not carried out on January 3 laston the second anniversary of Soleimani’s assassination in a Trump-ordered drone strike at Baghdad airport.
In the last exchange of messages recorded by the FBI, one of the hitmen complained about the lack of payment, to which Poursafi responded by sending $100 in cryptocurrency. If convicted, the member of the Revolutionary Guard will face up to 25 years in prison for the murder plot.
“This is not the first time we have uncovered Iranian complicity to exact revenge on people on American soil and we will work tirelessly to expose and disrupt each such effort,” prosecutor Matthew Olsen said in a statement.
The former National Security Adviser asked in his statement that the Joe Biden government not return to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, which the Trump Administration left. “I remain committed to making this not happen,” Bolton said. Bolton, considered a Republican ‘hawk’ in favor of US interventionism, served as White House National Security Adviser from 2017 until Trump fired him in 2020 due to disagreements over the policy towards Venezuela.
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