Department of Justice Charges Iranian Operative in Plot to Assassinate John Bolton – Opinion

The Justice Department, doubtless to its irritation as the matter has nothing to do with harassing Donald Trump, has charged Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps member Shahram Poursafi with actively plotting the assassination of former U.S. John Bolton is National Security Advisor to the United Nations.

According to the Justice Department’s press release on the matter:

According to court records, Poursafi asked Individual B, an American resident who Poursafi had previously met online to take photos of the former National Security advisor. Poursafi claimed the photographs were intended for a book Poursafi was working on. Poursafi told Individual A that he/she was willing to introduce Poursafi (or another person) who would be able to take the photos at $5,000-10,000. Individual A then introduced Poursafi later to an associate, referred to as the confidential person source (or CHS) in court documents.

Poursafi reached out to the CHS via encrypted messaging app on Nov. 9, 2021. He then instructed the CHS for a second encrypted messaging program in order to continue communications. Poursafi offered the CHS $250,000 to hire someone to “eliminate” the former National Security Advisor. The amount was later negotiated to be $300,000. Poursafi added that he had an additional “job,” for which he would pay $1 million.

Poursafi subsequently reinforced the assassination’s motivation was revenge for the Trump-ordered January 2020 killing of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ elite Quds Force leader Qasem Soleimani.

On Jan. 3, 2022, Poursafi noted he was under pressure from “his people” to complete the murder and that Poursafi had to report any delays. Poursafi answered a CHS question about how many individuals were involved. Poursafi explained to CHS that he had only to report to one individual, but that there was an order of succession to which his superiors could be reached. That same day, Poursafi expressed regret that the murder would not be conducted by the anniversary of Qasem Soleimani’s death. Poursafi expressed concern that the CHS and Poursafi would lose the job if the task was not completed soon. Poursafi counseled the CHS that if he/she used a “small weapon,” he/she would have to get close to the target, but if he/she used a “larger weapon,” he/she could stay farther away.

Bolton was also mentioned, but it wasn’t identified.

On March 10, 2022, Poursafi told the CHS he had another assassination job for the CHS in the United States, but to “keep [the former National Security Advisor] in the back of your mind.” Approximately one month later, Poursafi encouraged the CHS to accept this offer, explaining that if it was done successfully, Poursafi would be able to ingratiate himself with his “group” and regain the tasking to murder the former National Security Advisor.

As Poursafi was not hiding underneath Trump’s desk at Mar-a-Lago, he remains at large.

Making the targeting of Bolton for assassination somewhat curious is that at the time of Soleimani’s death, Bolton was no longer part of the Trump Administration, having resigned as National Security Advisor in September of 2019. Bolton praised Soleimani’s elimination immediately following its occurrence.

He was, however, not involved in this matter. One could conclude that Iran learns about U.S. politics from only watching CNN. Sarcasm aside, it’s nice to see the Justice Department actually doing its job for once. It is hard not to wonder just how aggressively the Justice Department would pursue this matter if Bolton had not been critical of Trump. It is sad that such a question exists.

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