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Bobby Ghosh

Bolton Plot Should Be a Warning on Iran Nuclear Talks

The brazen threat against the former national security adviser shows Tehran can’t be relied on to negotiate in good faith.

Escalating risk.

Escalating risk.

Photographer: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images


The Iranian regime has a long, dishonorable history of assassination plots against dissidents and detractors abroad, but commissioning a hit against a former US national security adviser represents a raising of the bar in brazenness. The revelation that a member of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps attempted to have John Bolton murdered — on American soil, at that — should serve as a sobering reminder for President Joe Biden of Tehran’s depravity as he contemplates making a deal that will both enrich and embolden those behind the plot.

The US Justice Department said Shahram Poursafi, an IRGC member based in Tehran, offered $300,000 “to individuals in the United States [to] carry out the murder in Washington, DC or Maryland.” The hit was likely meant as retaliation for the 2020 US drone strike that killed Qassem Soleimani, a top IRGC commander designated by the US as a terrorist and also personally sanctioned by the European Union and the  United Nations.