An Iranian operative was charged by the US in connection to an alleged plot against John Bolton, a former national security advisor to Donald Trump.
The FBI is looking for Shahram Poursafi (American officials claim he is part of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard) to face charges in connection with the alleged plot to murder-for-hire.
Sky News’ Mr Bolton said that he believed this was an Iranian plot against a former US official. I can confirm that I am not the only one the Ayatollahs of Tehran are trying assassinate.”
He said, “It’s more than just ex-government officials. It’s also private citizens living in the US. This is a murderous and lying regime. It is an enemy of the US, and we must treat it accordingly.
“I believe this unsealed charge document will help the citizens of the US, and the rest of the world to see the true nature of the Iranian regime.”
The US Justice Department stated that the alleged plan was in retaliation to the US drone strike in January 2020 that killed Major General Qassem SOLEMANI, head of Iran’s elite Quds force – who is often referred to as the second most powerful person living in the Middle East.
They claimed that Iranian national Poursafi (also known as Mehdi Rezayi) “attempted” to pay Americans $300,000 (PS245,000), to execute the murders in Washington DC and Maryland.
According to US officials, Poursafi is still at large and has not denied any involvement with the Quds force.
He could be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine (PS204,000) for using interstate commerce facilities to commit murder-for-hire.
He could also be sentenced to up to 15 years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine for providing or attempting to provide material assistance to a transnational crime plot.
The mission of Iran to the United Nations didn’t immediately respond to a request to comment. Iran also does not have an extradition agreement with the United States.
Mr Bolton thanked the FBI and Justice Department in a statement.
He stated that while much can’t be shared publicly at the moment, one fact is certain: Iran’s rulers lie, are terrorists and are enemies of America.
Timeline of alleged incidents, according to Justice Department:
:: Poursafi (45) contacted a CHS confidential human source and offered $250,000 to hire someone who would “eliminate” the former national-security adviser.
Later, this amount would be increased to $300,000. Poursafi stated that he had another “job” for which he would be paying $1m.
:: Poursafi stated to the CHS on 19 November 2021 that it didn’t matter how Bolton was executed, but that his “group” would need video evidence of the victim’s death.
Poursafi was asked by the CHS what would happen if Iran was responsible for the murder. Poursafi assured the CHS that it was not to be worried and that Poursafi’s group would handle it.
:: Poursafi informed the CHS on February 1, 2022 that if the target was not eliminated within two weeks, then the job would be forfeited to the CHS.
The CHS was also informed by him that someone had inspected the area surrounding the home of the former national security advisor, and it appeared there was no security presence. Therefore, the CHS should be able “finish the job”.
:: Poursafi informed the CHS that he had another job as an assassin for the CHS in America on March 10, 2022 but that he would “keep [the former National Security Advisor] in your thoughts”.
Poursafi encouraged CHS to accept the offer a month later. He explained that if the offer was accepted, Poursafi could ingratiate with his “group” to regain the task of murdering the former national security advisor.
:: CHS informed Poursafi on 28 April 2022 that he/she would no longer work without being paid. Poursafi offered to pay $100 to the CHS in cryptocurrency. This was to show that payment could be made.
Two payments totaling $100 were made to the cryptocurrency wallet later that day.
Matthew Olsen, assistant attorney general in the justice department, stated that it was “not first time” they had found Iranian plots to exact revenge on individuals on American soil. He added, “We will work tirelessly for uncovering and disrupting every one of these attempts.”