Washington — A member of Iran’s elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) was charged for plotting the murder of former national security adviser John Bolton, the Justice Department announced Wednesday.
An indictment against Shahram Poursafi, of Tehran, alleges that beginning in October 2021, he attempted to arrange Bolton’s murder. Federal prosecutors said the plot was likely in retaliation for the killing of Qassem Soleimani, the head of the IRGC’s elite Quds Force who was killed by a U.S. airstrike in Iraq in January 2020.
Working on behalf of the Quds Force, Poursafi attempted to pay $300,000 to people in the U.S. for the murder, the Justice Department said. The department said there is no evidence that Poursafi has ever been to the U.S.
Bolton, who served as national security adviser to former President Donald Trump, thanked the Justice Department for the charges against Poursafi and the FBI for “its diligence in discovering and tracking the Iranian regime’s criminal threat to American citizens; and the Secret Service for once again providing protection against Tehran’s efforts.”
“While much cannot be said publicly right now, one point is indisputable: Iran’s rulers are liars, terrorists, and enemies of the United States,” he said in a statement to CBS News. “Their radical, anti-American objectives are unchanged; their commitments are worthless; and their global threat is growing.”
Assistant Attorney General Matthew Olsen, who leads the Justice Department’s National Security Division, said the department has in the past uncovered Iranian plots to “exact revenge against individuals on U.S. soil” and pledged the Justice Department will “work tirelessly” to stop these efforts.
“The Justice Department has the solemn duty to defend our citizens from hostile governments who seek to hurt or kill them,” he said in a statement.
Catherine Herridge contributed to this report