US accuses Iran of plotting to assassinate John Bolton

National Security Adviser John Bolton answers questions from reporters as he announces that the United States will withdraw from the treaty with Iran during a news conference in the White House briefing room in Washington, October 3, 2018.

Jonathan Ernst | Reuters

WASHINGTON – The Justice Department charged an Iranian national on Wednesday with plotting to assassinate President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser, John Bolton.

Shahram Poursafi, 45, of Tehran, Iran, attempted to orchestrate the killing of Bolton in retaliation for the January 2020 US airstrike that killed Iran’s top commander, General Qasem Soleimani, according to court documents.

Soleimani, who led a special forces unit of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard Corps, was once a key figure in Iranian and Middle Eastern politics and His death exacerbated already high tensions between Iran and the United States and raised concerns about retaliation from Iranian forces.

Bolton, who served as Trump’s third national security adviser in the 17 months before his resignation, was the lead architect of the administration’s “maximum pressure” campaign on Iran. Bolton supports the escalation of economic sanctions and threatens retaliation for Iran’s malicious behavior.

National security adviser, John Bolton, right, attends a meeting with President Donald Trump and Chilean President Sebastian Piñera in the Oval Office of the White House on September 28, 2018 in Washington, DC.

Oliver Contreras | Washington Post | beautiful pictures

Poursafi, a member of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, attempted to pay individuals in the United States in October 2021 a reward of $300,000 to carry out the plot in Washington, DC or Maryland.

Poursafi told a person connected with the work that it didn’t matter how the murder was carried out but he would need video confirmation of Bolton’s death.

Poursafi, also known as Mehdi Rezayi, is charged with using interstate commerce facilities to commit murder for hire, providing and attempting to provide material support for a transnational murder plot. family.

If convicted, Poursafi faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 for using interstate commerce to commit murder for hire. In addition, he faces up to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 for providing and attempting to provide material support to a transnational murder plot.

Poursafi remains abroad.

In a statement following the indictment, Bolton thanked the Justice Department, the FBI and the Secret Service.

“While much cannot be said publicly at this time, one point cannot be denied: Iran’s rulers are liars, terrorists and enemies,” Bolton said in a statement. of the United States”. “Their radical anti-American goals are unchanged; their commitments are worthless; and their global threat is growing,” he added.

This story is evolving. Please check back for updates.

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