Tehran denies the existence of an Iranian plan to kill John Bolton

Tehran denies the existence of an Iranian plan to kill John Bolton

John Bolton served as President Trump's national security adviser until the latter fired him in mid-September 2019.

Tehran on Thursday dismissed “ridiculous” US court charges that a member of Iran's Revolutionary Guards had plotted to assassinate former White House national security adviser John Bolton.

The day before, the US Department of Justice announced that Shahram Poursafi, alias Mehdi Rezayi, 45, was charged in his absence with offering to pay $300,000 to individuals in the United States to kill John Bolton, who also served as U.S. Ambassador to the UN.

The plot, apparently intended to avenge the death of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani, who was killed in January 2020 in a US strike, was revealed to authorities by the person believed to have assassinated Mr Bolton, whose identity is not known. was exposed.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanani on Thursday dismissed ridiculous US accusations.

“American judicial authorities have brought charges without providing valid evidence.

—Nasser Kanani, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman

The case comes as the Iranian regime is considering a compromise presented by the European Union to save the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, moribund since the United States withdrew in 2018 at the instigation of Donald Trump, then advised by John Bolton.

For months, Tehran has tied any deal to a removal of the Revolutionary Guards, the Islamic Republic's ideological army, from the US blacklist of terrorist organizations.

“This is not the first time we have uncovered a plot by Iran for revenge on American soil and we will work tirelessly to uncover and prevent each such attempt”

— Matthew Olsen, Deputy Minister of Justice

According to the indictment, in late 2021, Shahram Poursafi entered contact with a person believed to carry out the assassination, who was actually a federal police (FBI) informant.

Shahram Poursafi 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 ;anniversary of the death of Qassem Soleimani.

The powerful Iranian general, architect of Iran's strategy in the Middle East, was the head of the Quds Force, the unit in charge external operations within the Revolutionary Guards. He was killed on January 3, 2020 in a drone strike in Baghdad.

The anniversary date passed, Shahram Poursafi continued to push the informant to kill Mr. Bolton, promising him a million dollar contract for a second target if he was successful.

< p class="e-p">The FBI has published a wanted poster for Mr. Poursafi with several photos, two of which show him wearing the uniform of the Revolutionary Guards.

If arrested, which is unlikely as he is likely to be in Iran, Shahram Poursafi faces up to 25 years in prison.

John Bolton, Donald Trump's national security adviser from April 2018 to September 2019, considered the 2015 nuclear deal a major strategic mistake. He had publicly supported Mr. Trump's decision to withdraw the United States from this pact, known by its English acronym JCPOA, which aims to guarantee the civilian character of Iran's nuclear program.

The indictment states that Mr. Bolton had knowledge of the conspiracy and cooperated with investigators.

John Bolton claimed on Thursday that it was important to note how carefully the Iranian government had given thought (to this project) and was engaged in the planning.

This shows how Tehran behaves, regarding [its] terrorist activities, but also how it conducts its foreign policy, he said on CNN.

L' Current White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan tweeted that Tehran faces severe consequences if it attacks current or past US officials. /p>

American justice has not identified the second target, but according to the Axios site, it is the ex-chief of diplomacy Mike Pompeo . Citing a source close to the former secretary of state, Axios said the Department of Justice confirmed directly to him that he was one of the targets.

Along with John Bolton, Mr. Pompeo was one of the main architects of the Trump administration's policy of maximum pressure on Iran.

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