The Justice Department has charged an Iranian citizen with plotting to murder President Trump’s former national security advisor John Bolton. Federal prosecutors said Wednesday that Shahram Poursafi offered to pay a hitman $300,000 last November to assassinate Bolton in Washington, D.C., or Maryland. The man Poursafi allegedly tried to hire was in fact an FBI informant. Federal agents say Poursafi is a member of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard who sought revenge for the Trump administration’s assassination of a top Iranian commander in Baghdad in January 2020. This is Assistant Attorney General Matt Olsen.
Matthew Olsen: “This assassination plot was undertaken in apparent retaliation for the January 2020 killing of Qassem Soleimani. We face a rising threat from authoritarian regimes who seek to reach beyond their own borders to commit acts of repression, including inside the United States. This is an especially appalling example of the government of Iran perpetrating egregious acts of transnational violence in violation of U.S. laws and our national sovereignty.”
This comes amid signs of progress in diplomatic efforts to revive the Iran nuclear deal, from which then-President Trump withdrew the U.S. in 2018. After headlines, we’ll speak with Trita Parsi, the executive vice president of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, who has been following the negotiations closely.