Iran’s botched plot to assassinated two former US government officials underscores the ineptitude of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and Tehran’s position as a “hostile government”, officials say.
The US Justice Department on Wednesday (August 10) announced it had squashed a plot by a member of the IRGC to kill former US national security adviser John Bolton.
Shahram Poursafi, 45, also known as Mehdi Rezayi, was indicted over allegations he had offered to pay an individual in the United States $300,000 to kill Bolton, the Justice Department said.
But the plot, which stretched from last October until April, never made headway because the supposed assassin for hire with whom Poursafi was communicating was an informant for the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
Court documents show the FBI let the plotting continue for months in order to collect information on Poursafi and on Iran’s broader plans.
These included another plot to kill an even more prominent former US official for a $1 million payment.
The FBI did not identify the official, but he has been reported to be former secretary of state and Central Intelligence Agency director Mike Pompeo.
Poursafi, who is believed to be in Iran, was charged with two counts relating to plotting a murder.
He was charged with the use of interstate commerce facilities in the commission of murder-for-hire, which carries up to 10 years in prison, and with providing and attempting to provide material support to a transnational murder plot, which carries a 15-year sentence.
Further exacerbating the embarrassing situation for the IRGC was the ineptitude of this supposed “spy chief”.
In the process of implementing the assassination plot, Poursafi revealed his real identity and exposed his personal contact and identity documents.
Accounts on social media detailed that his Iranian national identification number is 1930098431, his email address is [email protected], his phone number is +989125666366 and his Twitter account is @shahrampoursafi.
Numerous security observers say such a revelation is unheard of from a senior intelligence figure.