US learns of 'plot' by Iran to assassinate John Bolton

United States: The US Justice Department on Wednesday announced charges against a member of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps after he claimed to have discovered an Iranian plot to assassinate former White House national security adviser John Bolton.

According to the Justice Department, Mehdi Rezayee, also known as 45-year-old Shahram Porsafi, offered to pay someone US$300,000 to kill Bolton, the former US ambassador to the United Nations.

In response to the US killing of top Guard commander Qasem Soleimani in Iraq in January 2020, the Justice Department said the plan was implemented in retaliation.

The accusation was made because Iran considered a possible deal during talks in Vienna to revive a 2015 deal intended to prevent Tehran from developing nuclear weapons.

Tehran has been holding off on the deal for months, demanding that the US end its official designation of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a sponsor of terrorism.

US Assistant Attorney General Matthew Olsen said, "This is not the first time we have discovered Iranian conspiracies to exact revenge against individuals on American soil, and we are determined to expose and disrupt every single one of these efforts." Will work tirelessly for it."

The allegations state that Porsafi attempted to plan the assassination of Bolton in October 2021, when he communicated online with an unidentified man in the United States, initially claiming to have ordered Bolton's paintings.

Then, Porsafi asks that contact to kill Bolton after passing on another contact with Iran. He made an initial offer of $250,000. This was later increased to $300,000.

According to the Justice Department, Porsafi also said he has a second "job" for which he will be paid $1 million.
However, court records claim that the second person was a secret source for the US Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The alleged killer went off while waiting for the initial payment; Porsafi did not send any money until the end of April.

Porsafi was charged with two crimes: providing material aid to and attempting an international murder conspiracy, which carries a sentence of 15 years, and using interstate commerce facilities to hire for murder, which That's a sentence of up to 10 years. the prison.

From April 2018 to September 2019, Bolton served as National Security Advisor to President Donald Trump at the White House. Bolton is regarded as the top "hawk" of the US foreign policy establishment and a staunch opponent of Iran.

He served as ambassador to the United Nations under the George W. Bush administration from 2005 to 2006.

He supported the Trump administration's unilateral withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and the major powers in May 2018. He was against the deal.

According to court papers, Bolton was aware of the scheme and assisted in the investigation by allowing Porsafi to send photographs outside his Washington, D.C.

In the months that Porsafi and his US contacts talked about the conspiracy, he revealed that Tehran was seeking vengeance for the US assassination of Soleimani.

As commander of the Quds Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, Soleimani personally oversaw the organization's network of allies and proxies in the Gulf.

On January 7, 2020, shortly after landing at Baghdad's airport, he was the target of a US drone strike.

Since the attack, Tehran has vowed to exact revenge, and according to US officials, the nation was planning to assassinate one or more US government figures.

Mike Pompeo, the secretary of state at the time of Soleimani's assassination and then director of the Central Intelligence Agency, is considered another official on Tehran's hit list.

Pompeo claimed at the time that Soleimani was preparing a large-scale attack on American bases such as embassies.

Bolton thanked the Justice Department and the FBI in a statement and denounced the Iranian government as "terrorists, liars, and enemies of the United States."

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