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

(AP Photo/Shakh Aivazov)

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. Ambassador to the United Nations and National Security Advisor John Bolton.


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

According to court documents, on Oct. 22, 2021, Poursafi asked Individual A, a U.S. resident whom Poursafi previously met online, to take photographs of the former National Security Advisor, claiming the photographs were for a book Poursafi was writing. Individual A told Poursafi that he/she could introduce Poursafi to another person who would take the pictures for $5,000-$10,000. Individual A later introduced Poursafi to an associate (referred to in court documents as the confidential human source or CHS).

On Nov. 9, 2021, Poursafi contacted the CHS on an encrypted messaging application, and then directed the CHS to a second encrypted messaging application for further communications. Poursafi offered the CHS $250,000 to hire someone to “eliminate” the former National Security Advisor. This amount would later be negotiated up to $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. The CHS asked Poursafi how many people were involved. Poursafi told the CHS that he only had to report to one person, but that there was a chain of command to whom his superior reported. That same day, Poursafi expressed regret that the murder would not be conducted by the anniversary of Qasem Soleimani’s death. He stated he was concerned that if it was not carried out soon, the job would be taken from Poursafi and the CHS. 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.


There was mention made of a second, unidentified target along with Bolton.

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.

However, as noted above, he had no role in the matter, leading one to believe Iran gets its information about U.S. politics solely from watching CNN. Sarcasm aside, it’s nice to see the Justice Department actually doing its job for once. However, it is impossible not to wonder how vigorously it would be pursuing the matter had Bolton not become critical of Trump. Sad that this is a legitimate question.




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