WASHINGTON: US justice revealed on Wednesday a plot led by a member of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards to assassinate John Bolton, former national security adviser to the White House.
The US Department of Justice said in a statement that Shahram Poursafi, alias Mehdi Rezayi, 45, was charged in absentia with offering to pay $300,000 to individuals in the United States to kill John Bolton, who was also United States ambassador to the UN, apparently to avenge the death of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani, killed in January 2020 in an American strike.
The plot was revealed to the authorities by the person believed to have murdered Mr Bolton, whose identity has not been revealed.
According to the press release, between October 2021 and April 2022, Shahram Poursafi contacted this confidential source using encrypted messaging, giving him instructions to locate, photograph and then kill Mr Bolton, considered a hawk, or even a go-getter. war on the Iranian file.
He ordered him to open a cryptocurrency account, and then gave him the business address of Donald Trump’s former adviser, before urging him to put the plan into action before the first anniversary of Soleimani’s death.
The powerful Iranian general, an architect of Iran’s strategy in the Middle East, was the head of the Quds Force, the unit in charge of external operations within the Revolutionary Guards. He was killed on January 3, 2020, in a drone strike in Baghdad.
The anniversary date passed, and Shahram Poursafi continued to push the confidential source to kill Mr Bolton, promising him another million-dollar contract if the first operation was successful.
The FBI has published a search warrant for Poursafi with several photos, two of which show him wearing the Revolutionary Guard uniform.
“During their exchanges, the confidential source repeatedly referred to Poursafi as being linked to the Quds Force. Poursafi never denied,” noted the American justice.
If arrested, which is unlikely as he appears to be in Iran, Shahram Poursafi faces up to 25 years in prison in the United States.