| 3 March 2024, Sunday |

Blinken warns Iran over plot to target Bolton, Pompeo

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned Iran on Thursday against targeting American citizens in wake of the revelation that Tehran had plotted to murder John Bolton, a national security adviser to former President Donald Trump.

“Our message to Iran is clear: we will not tolerate threats of violence against Americans — and that certainly includes former government officials. Any attack would be met with severe consequences,” tweeted Blinken.

It was revealed that former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who also served under Trump, was another target of Iranian plots.

Earlier, US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan warned Iran that the Biden Administration “will not waiver in protecting and defending all Americans against threats of violence and terrorism.”

The United States charged a member of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps on Wednesday with plotting to murder Bolton.

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 Revolutionary Guard Corps killed in a US drone strike in January 2020.

Pompeo was the second target, according to Morgan Ortagus, who served as State Department spokesperson during his tenure.

Iran does not have an extradition treaty with the United States, and Poursafi remains at large. The FBI on Wednesday released a most-wanted poster.

Tehran condemned the US move.

“Iran strongly warns against any action against Iranian citizens under the pretext of these ridiculous and baseless accusations,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani said.

  • Asharq Al-Awsat