STORY: A member of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guard Corps was charged by the United States on Wednesday with plotting to murder John Bolton, a national security adviser to former President Donald Trump.
The Justice Department alleged that Shahram Poursafi, of Tehran, was likely motivated to kill Bolton in retaliation for the death of Qassem Soleimani, a commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps killed in a U.S. drone strike in January 2020.
Iran does not have an extradition treaty with the United States, and Poursafi remains at large.
According to the criminal complaint, Poursafi asked a U.S. resident to take photographs of Bolton, under the guise that the photos were needed for a forthcoming book. The U.S. resident then introduced Poursafi to a covert government informant who could take the photographs for a price.
Investigators said the following month Poursafi contacted the informant on an encrypted messaging application and offered the person $250,000 to hire someone to "eliminate" Bolton - an amount that would later be negotiated up to $300,000.
When the informant asked Poursafi to be more specific in his request, he said he wanted "the guy" purged, and he provided Bolton's first and last name, according to a sworn statement in support of the complaint.
In a statement on Twitter on Wednesday, Bolton thanked the Justice Department for taking action saying (quote):
"While much cannot be said publicly right now, one point is indisputable: Iran's rulers are liars, terrorists and enemies of the United States."