Justice Department Charges Iranian with Attempted Plot to Murder Former National Security Advisor John Bolton

By Benjamin Pollard
Wednesday, August 10, 2022, 3:25 PM

Read Lawfare coverage on this affidavit from foreign policy editor Dan Byman.

The Justice Department charged a member of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) with an attempted plot to murder former National Security Advisor John Bolton. According to court documents, the attempted murder plot was retaliation for the U.S. killing of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani.

Shahram Poursafi, the charged individual, allegedly tried to pay several people in the United States $300,000 each to murder Bolton in Washington, D.C. or Maryland. Poursafi provided one of the people with the former advisor’s work address, screenshots of a street view of Bolton’s office, and information of the former national security official’s schedule that was not available to the public. Poursafi also shared a photograph of bags full of U.S. dollars with a handwritten note addressed to one of the individuals tasked with committing the murder, as well as the name of another target for assassination in the United States, according to the Justice Department press release.

The charge carries a punishment of 10 years in prison for using interstate commerce facilities in the attempted murder plot and an additional 15 years for providing and attempting to provide material support for a transnational murder-for-hire.

You can read the affidavit here and below.

You can read the complaint here and below.

Watch the video statement from Justice Department officials here and below.