WASHINGTON | US justice on Wednesday revealed a conspiracy led by a member of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards to assassinate John Bolton, the former White House national security adviser.
The US Department of Justice said in a statement that Shahram Poursafi, aka Mehdi Rezayi, 45, has been charged in absentia with offering to pay individuals in the United States $300,000 for the assassination of John Bolton, who appears to have also US Ambassador to the United Nations was avenging the death of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani, who was killed in a US attack in January 2020.
The conspiracy was revealed to authorities by the person believed to have murdered Mr Bolton, whose identity has not been released.
According to the press release, between October 2021 and April 2022, Shahram Poursafi contacted this confidential source via encrypted messages and gave him instructions to locate, photograph and then kill Mr. Bolton, who is believed to be a hawk, even as a green light for the Iranian war File.
He ordered him to open a cryptocurrency account, 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, 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 in a drone strike in Baghdad on January 3, 2020.
As the anniversary wore on, Shahram Poursafi continued to urge the confidential source to kill Mr Bolton and promised him another multi-million dollar deal if the first operation was successful.
The FBI has released a search warrant against Poursafi with several photos, two of which show him in Revolutionary Guard uniform.
“During their discussions, the confidential source repeatedly pointed out that Poursafi was linked to the Quds Force. Poursafi has never denied,” noted the American judiciary.
If arrested, which is unlikely given that he appears to be in Iran, Shahram Poursafi faces up to 25 years in prison in the United States.