With so many points of tension around the world, it would be easy to take your eyes off of Iran right now, but that could be deadly.
An operative from Iran has just been charged with a plot to murder former U.S. national security adviser John Bolton. It is presumed that this move is in retaliation for a U.S. airstrike that was done killing Qassem Soleimani, the head of the Revolutionary Guard’s elite Quds Force and an architect of Tehran’s proxy wars in the Middle East.
The operative, Shahram Poursafi, was offered $300,000 to “eliminate” the Trump administration official, according to the Justice Department.
Shahram Poursafi was identified by U.S. officials as a member of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard and he is currently wanted by the FBI on charges related to the murder-for-hire plot.
Prosecutors on the case indicate that the scheme was put in place more than a year after Qassem Soleimani was killed in the targeted airstrike at Baghdad’s international airport in January 2020.
Immediately after the strike, Bolton, who may that time was already gone from the White House, tweeted this message: “Hope this is the first step to regime change in Tehran.”
It was in the fall of 2021 that Poursafi offered $300,000 to someone he was corresponding with in the U.S. if the person would hire someone to “eliminate” Bolton. We have this information from an FBI affidavit that was unsealed this week.
Poursafi is an Iranian citizen who has never visited the United States. He told his contact in the United States that he wanted “the guy” to be purged or eliminated, and he was talking to an FBI informant.
This gets terrifying when you see that Poursafi provided his “contact” not only with Bolton’s office address but also the name and contact information of someone who worked in the office. He also had screenshots of surveillance photographs of Bolton’s office, the affidavit says.
Assistant Attorney General Matthew Olsen, the Justice Department’s top national security official, said in a department statement that this was not an idle threat and that it was not the first time that the department uncovered terrifying acts like this by Iran to get revenge against individuals in the United States.
Bolton gave his statement to the press and he thanked the FBI and the Justice Department for the work they had done in building the case. He also thanked the Secret Service Department for providing him with protection.
“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.
Officials from Iran to the United Nations have not yet responded to a request from the media for comment.
Negotiators Working to Revive Iran Nuclear Deal Amid Thwarted Attack
This unsealed information comes two days after negotiators were focusing on reviving the Iran nuclear accord in Vienna. They had closed on a “final text” of a new agreement and the negotiating parties were talking in the capitals about whether there would be a final agreement on the deal.
The deal was first agreed on in 2015 and it granted Iran sanctions relief in exchange for tight reigns on its atomic program. The United States withdrew from the agreement during former President Donald Trump’s term, and Iran has increased the speed of its nuclear enrichment program.
Bolton was one of the most intense critics of the deal and he has maintained that position against the Biden administration’s efforts to rejoin it.
Bolton said, “Iran’s nuclear weapons and terrorist activities are two sides of the same coin” and asserted that America re-entering the failed 2015 Iran nuclear deal would be an unparalleled self-inflicted wound, to ourselves and our closest Middle East allies.”
Hope this action helps to keep our eyes focused on this enemy in the future.