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The White House warned Iran against attacking U.S. citizens on Wednesday after the Justice Department revealed that a member of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) hatched plans to assassinate former Trump administration national security adviser John Bolton.
“We have said this before and we will say it again: the Biden Administration will not waiver in protecting and defending all Americans against threats of violence and terrorism,” national security adviser Jake Sullivan said in a statement.
“Should Iran attack any of our citizens, to include those who continue to serve the United States or those who formerly served, Iran will face severe consequences,” Sullivan continued. “We will continue to bring to bear the full resources of the U.S. Government to protect Americans.”
The Justice Department said Wednesday that 45-year-old Shahram Poursafi, who was acting on behalf of the IRGC’s Quds Force, allegedly attempted to pay individuals $300,000 to murder Bolton in Washington, D.C., or Maryland.
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Poursafi is wanted on charges of providing and attempting to provide material support to a transnational murder plot, as well as use of interstate commerce facilities in the commission of murder-for-hire.
The Justice Department also informed former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that he was a target in Poursafi’s plot, a source close to Pompeo told Fox News.
Poursafi allegedly told an individual in the U.S. that after assassinating Bolton, he had a second “job” that would pay $1 million.
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The murder-for-hire plot was apparently in retaliation for the January 2020 death of Qasem Soleimani, the commander of IRGC’s Quds Forces, who was killed by a U.S. strike in Baghdad, Iraq.
Brig. Gen. Esmail Ghaani, who replaced Soleimani, said on the second anniversary of Soleimani’s death earlier this year that the IRGC would take “revenge against Americans by the help of people on their side and within their own homes without our presence.”
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Bolton served as the U.S. 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 much cannot be said publicly right now, one point is indisputable: Iran’s rulers are liars, terrorists and enemies of the United States,” Bolton said in a statement on Wednesday.
Fox News’s Michael Lee contributed to this report.