Justice Department charges Iranian man with plotting to kill John Bolton

“Iran has a history of plotting to assassinate individuals in the United States whom it considers a threat,” said Larissa L. Knapp, executive deputy director of the FBI’s national security branch, which worked on the case with the Department of Justice and the Secret Service.

In November, Mr. Poursafi was introduced to several other Americans on an encrypted messaging platform, and made an astonishing offer to one of them, the person who turned out to be the informant: he would pay 250,000 $ to “eliminate” Mr. Bolton. , who had left the White House at the end of 2019 after a tumultuous mandate of a year and a half.

Mr Poursafi then increased the offer to $300,000, then added that he had unspecified follow-up “work” for which he would pay $1 million, officials said. Justice Department officials told Mike Pompeo, who took a hard line on Iran as Trump’s secretary of state, that he was the second assassination target, according to a person familiar with Mr. Pompeo.

Mr. Poursafi has never attempted to hide his connection to the Revolutionary Guards. In fact, he appeared to be using his status to intimidate would-be conspirators, US officials said.

In early 2021, he was heavily increasing the pressure on the informant to continue the assassination, sending detailed information about the location of Mr Bolton’s office and residence. In January, he provided the informant with “details regarding the former national security adviser’s schedule that do not appear to have been made public,” according to an account of the case provided to reporters by the Ministry of Justice.

Mr. Poursafi also urged the informant to open a cryptocurrency account for the payment. He made it clear, however, that he would not make the deposit until the job was done, and he asked the informant to film the murder. He warned the informant, grimly, that his bosses in Tehran would be “angry” if the job was not completed to their satisfaction.

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