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The White House warned Iran on Wednesday against attacking US citizens after the Justice Department revealed that a member of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) had hatched plans to assassinate former Trump administration national security adviser John Bolton.
“We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: The Biden administration will not relent in protecting and defending all Americans against the threats of violence and terrorism,” National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said in a statement.
“If Iran attacks any of our citizens, including those who are serving or have previously served the United States, Iran will face severe consequences,” Sullivan continued. “We will continue to bring the full resources of the US government to bear to protect Americans.”
Shahram Poursafi, 45, acting on behalf of the IRGC’s Quds Force, tried to pay $300,000 to individuals in Washington, D.C. or Maryland to kill Bolton, the Justice Department said Wednesday.
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Poursafi is wanted on charges of providing and attempting to provide material support for a transnational murder conspiracy, as well as using interstate commercial facilities in the commission of murder-for-hire.
A source close to Pompeo told Fox News that the Justice Department informed former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that he was a target in Poursaphy’s plot.
After killing Bolton, Poursafi told a man in the US that he had a second “job” that paid him $1 million.
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The murder-for-hire plot is in retaliation for the January 2020 death of IRGC’s Quds Force commander Qasim Soleimani, who was killed by a US strike in Baghdad, Iraq.
Brig. Gen. Esmail Ghani, who replaced Soleimani, said on the second anniversary of Soleimani’s death earlier this year that the IRGC would “take revenge against the Americans in their own homes and with the help of people on their side without our presence.”
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Bolton served as the US ambassador to the United Nations during the George W. Bush administration and was former President Trump’s national security adviser in 2018 and 2019.
“While not much can be said publicly right now, one thing is indisputable: Iran’s rulers are liars, terrorists and enemies of the United States,” Bolton said in a statement Wednesday.
Fox News’ Michael Lee contributed to this report.