Shahram Poursafi, a 45 year old Iranian military operative has been charged for plotting the murder of former national security adviser John Bolton, the Justice Department announced Wednesday.
According to the press release by the Justice Department, Shahram Poursafi, who is also a member of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) attempted to arrange the murder in late 2021 in retaliation for the Jan. 2020 killing of Qasem Soleimani, an influential Iranian military general.
How Shahram Poursafi plotted to murder John Bolton
The Department of Justice said Shahram Poursafi, also known as Mehdi Rezayi, offered the money in November 2021 to an unidentified person in the US to “eliminate” Bolton, apparently to avenge the drone killing of the IRGC commander Qassem Suleimani, in January 2020.
Poursafi is alleged to have said that after Bolton was killed, there would be another job, for which the hitman would be paid $1m.
The person offered the money became an FBI confidential informant, and continued to exchange texts on an encrypted communications app with Poursafi, which is believed to have tried to orchestrate the plot from Tehran.
Why John Bolton was targeted
Former President Donald Trump ordered the airstrike that killed Soleimani, which took place outside the Baghdad airport in Iraq, while Bolton was serving as his national security adviser.
Bolton cheered the death of Soleimani at the time.
‘Congratulations to all involved in eliminating Qassem Soleimani. Long in the making, this was a decisive blow against Iran’s malign Quds Force activities worldwide,’ Bolton said. ‘Hope this is the first step to regime change in Tehran.’
Bolton thanked U.S. authorities Wednesday after the plot was publicized.
‘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,’ the former national security adviser tweeted.