A member of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has been accused of commissioning a hit in a murder plot on former national security adviser John Bolton, the US Department of Justice announced on Wednesday.
The affidavit was signed by FBI Special Agent Randi Beck and submitted to a US magistrate judge on August 5.
However, the media first reported rumors of the plot in March, along with insinuations that due to the ongoing nuclear talks with Tehran, the Biden administration did not want to move ahead with the charges.
The DOJ unsealed an indictment against the Iranian national Shahram Poursafi – also known as Mehdi Rezayi – it charged with providing material support to a transnational murder plot and commissioning a murder-for-hire to assassinate Bolton, who served in senior national security positions during the Trump and Bush administrations.
The DOJ says that Poursafi attempted to arrange the murder of Bolton since October 2021, offering $300,000 to a US individual to carry out the hit planned likely in an act of retaliation to the drone assassination of IRGC-Quds Force General Qassem Soleimani in January 2020.
He also told the ‘hitman’ he had a “second job” for $1 million. The “second job”, according to a federal law enforcement source familiar with the investigation, was allegedly a reference to former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
Pompeo, a known Iran policy hawk, served as Trump’s secretary of state at the time of the airstrike that killed Soleimani.
Steven D’Antuono, assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, pointed out that an attempted assassination of a former US government official on US soil is completely unacceptable and stressed that it will not be tolerated.
According to Larissa Knapp of the FBI’s National Security Branch, Tehran has a history of plotting to assassinate individuals in the US it deems a threat.