(A7) An Iranian operative has been charged in a plot to assassinate former Trump Administration National Security Adviser John Bolton, the US Justice Department announced Wednesday.
Shahram Poursafi, an alleged member of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps, is wanted by the FBI in connection with the plot.
Poursafi is accused of offering an American citizen $300,000 to assassinate Bolton. According to the indictment, Iran sought to assassinate Bolton in retaliation for the killing of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani in January 2020.
Bolton tweeted in response to the announcement: “I wish to thank the Justice Dept for initiating the criminal proceeding unsealed today; the FBI for its diligence in discovering and tracking the Iranian regime’s criminal threat to American citizens; and the Secret Service for providing protection against Tehran’s efforts,”
A Justice Department official revealed the assassination plot against Bolton in an interview with the Washington Examiner in March.
It was reported that the DOJ had strong evidence that the Iranians were plotting the murders but reportedly the Biden Administration had refused to issue indictments against the men, worried that such a public announcement could ruin the Vienna nuclear talks with Iran at a sensitive time.
The DOJ official said that evidence of a conspiracy to assassinate Bolton was so serious that public indictments needed to be immediately issued.
The plot involved Revolutionary Guards spying and a campaign to hire an American-based assassin inside the US.
The intelligence community discovered the plan while it was in its early stages and was so worried that it gave Bolton full-time Secret Service protection, either in late 2021 or early in 2022. Bolton currently still has Secret Service guards.