Soleimani was the commander-in-chief of the IRGC and also widely considered the most powerful figure in Iran after its Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei…reports Asian Lite News
The US Department of Justice (DOJ) revealed that it had uncovered an Iranian plot to assassinate former White House National Security Advisor John Bolton, and announced charges against a member of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).
DOJ said 45-year-old Shahram Poursafi, also known as Mehdi Rezayi, attempted to arrange the murder of Bolton, “likely in retaliation for the January 2020 death of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps – Qods Force (IRGC-QF) commander Qasem Soleimani.”
Soleimani was the commander-in-chief of the IRGC and also widely considered the most powerful figure in Iran after its Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. He was killed in a US drone strike in Baghdad under the orders of then President Donald Trump.
Meanwhile, the DOJ said Poursafi had offered to pay an individual in the United States $300,000 to kill Bolton.
“This is not the first time we have uncovered Iranian plots to exact revenge against individuals on US soil and we will work tirelessly to expose and disrupt every one of these efforts,” AFP quoted US Assistant Attorney General Matthew Olsen as saying.
According to the charges, Poursafi tried to arrange Bolton’s murder beginning in October 2021, when he contacted online an unidentified person in the United States, first saying he wanted to commission photographs of Bolton, AFP reported.
That person passed the Iranian onto another contact, who Poursafi then asked to kill Bolton.
“Poursafi added that he had an additional ‘job,’ for which he would pay $1 million,” the DOJ said.
But that second person, court documents say, was a confidential source for the US Federal Bureau of Investigation, it reported.
This comes as talks on reviving Iran nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), is undergoing in Vienna.
The talks on reviving the JCPOA began in April 2021 in Vienna but were suspended in March 2022 because of political differences between Tehran and Washington.
The latest round of talks, which began on Thursday following a five-month hiatus, ended on Monday without a breakthrough.