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Bolton was target of murder plot in US Iranian Guard case

Aug. 10, 2022 Updated Wed., Aug. 10, 2022 at 8:58 p.m.

Former White House National Security Advisor John Bolton in 2019.    (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images North America/TNS)
Former White House National Security Advisor John Bolton in 2019.   (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images North America/TNS)
By Sabrina Willmer and Jennifer Jacobs Bloomberg News

A member of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps was charged by the U.S. in a plot to murder former national security adviser John Bolton.

The alleged plan by Shahram Poursafi was likely to avenge the January 2020 death of Iran’s Qasem Soleimani, commander of the IRGC’s elite Quds force, according to a statement Wednesday by the Justice Department. Soleimani was killed in a U.S. drone strike in January 2020. The U.S. alleges Poursafi tried to pay $300,000 to have Bolton murdered.

In an interview with Bloomberg, Bolton thanked the Justice Department, the FBI and the Secret Service for their efforts.

“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.

The plot allegedly started in October when Poursafi asked a U.S. resident, serving as a confidential source for the U.S., to take pictures of Bolton, claiming they were for a book he was writing. A month later, he offered to pay the source $250,000, which was then raised to $300,000, to “eliminate” Bolton, according to the U.S.. That same month, Poursafi allegedly told the source his “group” would require video confirmation of Bolton’s death.

In January, Poursafi mentioned to the source he reported to only one person, although there was a chain of command, the Justice Department alleges. He expressed regret the planned murder would miss the anniversary of Soleimani’s death, according to the U.S.

It says Poursafi later mentioned that he had a second assassination job lined up.

If convicted, Poursafi could face as many as 25 years in prison and could be fined as much as $500,000.

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