US Charges Iranian in Plot to Murder Ex-Trump Adviser John Bolton

US Charges Iranian in Plot to Murder Ex-Trump Adviser John Bolton US Charges Iranian in Plot to Murder Ex-Trump Adviser John Bolton Former National Security adviser John Bolton speaks on stage during a public discussion at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina on Feb. 17, 2020. (Logan Cyrus/AFP via Getty Images)

Sarah N. Lynch Wednesday, 10 August 2022 11:34 AM EDT

The United States charged a member of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guard Corps on Wednesday with plotting to murder John Bolton, the national security adviser to former President Donald Trump.

The Justice Department alleged that Shahram Poursafi, also known as Mehdi Rezayi, 45, of Tehran, was likely motivated to kill Bolton in retaliation for the death of Qassem Soleimani, a commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps killed in a U.S. drone strike in January 2020.

According to the criminal complaint, Poursafi asked a U.S. resident identified only as "Individual A" to take photographs of Bolton, under the guise that the photos were needed for a forthcoming book.

The U.S. resident then introduced Poursafi to a covert government informant who could take the photographs for a price.

The following month, investigators said Poursafi reached out to the informant on an encrypted messaging application, and offered the person $250,000 to hire someone to "eliminate" Bolton – an amount that would later be negotiated up to $300,000.

In a statement on Twitter on Wednesday, Bolton thanked the Justice Department for taking action.

"While much cannot be said publicly right now, one point is indisputable," he said. "Iran's rulers are liars, terrorists and enemies of the United States."