The US is not doing enough to stop the Iranian threat against former officials, John Bolton who was the target of an assassination plot told Iran International.
The Justice Department revealed on Wednesday that an operative of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard tried to hire a hitman in the US to kill former National Security Adviser John Bolton.
A statement by DoJ saidShahram Poursafi, also known as Mehdi Rezayi, 45, had attempted to pay “individuals in the United States” $300,000 to carry out the killing, “likely in retaliation for the January 2020 death of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps – Qods Force (IRGC-QF) commander Qasem Soleimani.”
Bolton told Iran International Television anchor Fardad Farahzad that he was not surprised as an indictment was unsealed because he was kept informed “in general terms until late in 2021 when it was determined I would again get secret service protection.”
As the news about the assassination plot against Bolton was announced, Axios reported that DOJ also told former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that he too was one of the former Trump officials targeted by the government of Iran.
After the US targeted killing of Iran’s Qasem Soleimani in January 2020 in Baghdad, Iran’s top leaders have repeatedly threatened revenge against Trump administration officials, including President Donald Trump himself.
Bolton said that he is aware of many ex-officials being the target of possible Iranian plots. “So, it's a very real threat, and obviously we're not doing enough to stop it because it continues,” he said, adding, “I really can't discuss names, but this is something that characterizes the regime in Tehran, and obviously the US has not done enough to deter the regime.”
Critics of the Biden administration say that with this kind behavior by Iran, the United States should stop making deals with Tehran and promising to lift sanctions that would give the Iranian government tens of billions of dollars in cash and economic benefits.
However, Reuters quoted an unnamed US official as saying that Washington does not believe the assassination plots should affect talks with Tehran on reviving the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA.
Asked if he thinks the issue of Iranian threats to US citizens should be raised in the JCPOA talks, Bolton said, “I think that was really part of the fundamental flaw of the 2015 nuclear deal, the idea that the Ayatollah Khamenei had two brains: one brain was the nuclear brain, the other brain was the terrorist brain. He doesn't. It's all part and parcel of the same thing. So fundamentally the nuclear deal was not going to deal with the terrorist issue.”
Bolton went on to say that “In fact, what we see now is that this regime has no intention whatever to comply with any commitments that it makes. It's untrustworthy, it's clearly an enemy of the US. That's what these threats of assassination show.”
Asked if from the benefit of hindsight, he would still support Soleimani’s killing, the former national security adviser said, “Soleimani was a terrorist,” and argued that the Islamic Republic has been threatening and killing Americans since its establishment in 1979, not just after Soleimani’s killing.
“So yes, their threat has been growing, but it's been growing for a long period of time. This is a dangerous, untrustworthy regime.”