At least two agents from the Quds Force of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard have been plotting to assassinate former US national security adviser John Bolton.
The Washington Examiner quoted a Justice Department official as saying on Monday that the department possesses enough evidence to indict the Iranians but the Biden administration is resisting any public measures for fear that it could derail the Vienna negotiations with Tehran, which apparently are in final stages.
The source noted that “the seriousness of the conspiracy and the evidence warranted public indictment without delay”, adding that the IRGC also tried to recruit an assassin on US soil.
The intelligence community was aware of the plot since its early stage, and a full-time Secret Service protective detail was assigned to Bolton earlier this year or in late 2021, with significant FBI assets deployed for assistance.
The plot is also believed to have prompted national security adviser Jake Sullivan to warn Iran of severe consequences if it attacks Americans.
Iran has imposed sanctions on dozens of Americans, many of them from the US military, over the 2020 targeted killing of Qasem Soleimani, and threats have been made against former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and other former Trump administration officials.
In January, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei lashed out at former US president Donald Trump and others for Soleimani’s killing, saying they “will pay for their crime.”