This past Wednesday, federal law enforcement officials charged one Iranian national, who was a member of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), with allegedly trying to assassinate John Bolton, the National Security Adviser to former President Donald Trump.
45 -year-old Shahram Poursafi out of Tehran, Iran, who is also known as Mehdi Rezayi, has allegedly tried to arrange for the assassination of Bolton in response to the Trump admin’s killing of Qasem Soleimani, a notorious terrorist who was in command of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps – Qods Force (IRGC-QF).
Allegedly, Poursafi tried to pay off individuals to the tune of $300,000 in order to carry out the assassination in or around the nation’s capital, explained the Department of Justice in a release.
Poursafi stated to one confidential source that if they were able to carry out their mission correctly, he would pay them well over $1 million for another target in its wake.
Poursafi was officially slammed with charges that included the use of interstate commerce facilities in the commission of murder-for-hire and with providing and attempting to provide material support to a transnational murder plot. If convicted in court, the man is looking down the barrel of over 10 years in federal prison along with a fine to the tune of of $250,000 for the use of interstate commerce facilities in order to try and commission a murder-for-hire, and over 15 additional years in federal prison with another fine of up to $250,000 for providing and attempting to provide material support to a transnational murder plot.
Top law enforcement officials for the U.S. issued their reactions to the charges in statements:
- Steven M. D’Antuono, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI Washington Field Office: “An attempted assassination of a former U.S. Government official on U.S. soil is completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated. The FBI will continue to identify and disrupt any efforts by Iran or any hostile government seeking to bring harm or death to U.S. persons at home or abroad. This should serve as a warning to any others attempting to do the same – the FBI will be relentless in our efforts to identify, stop, and bring to justice those who would threaten our people and violate our laws.”
- Larissa L. Knapp, Executive Assistant Director of the FBI’s National Security Branch: “Iran has a history of plotting to assassinate individuals in the U.S. it deems a threat, but the U.S. Government has a longer history of holding accountable those who threaten the safety of our citizens. Let there be no doubt: The FBI, the U.S. government, and our partners remain vigilant in the fight against such threats here in the U.S. and overseas.”
- Matthew M. Graves, U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia: “Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, through the Defendant, tried to hatch a brazen plot: assassinate a former U.S. official on U.S. soil in retaliation for U.S. actions. Iran and other hostile governments should understand that the U.S. Attorney’s Office and our law enforcement partners will do everything in our power to thwart their violent plots and bring those responsible to justice.”
- Matthew G. Olsen, Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s National Security Division: “The Justice Department has the solemn duty to defend our citizens from hostile governments who seek to hurt or kill them. This is not the first time we have uncovered Iranian plots to exact revenge against individuals on U.S. soil and we will work tirelessly to expose and disrupt every one of these efforts.”