US Accuses Iran of Plotting to Kill John Bolton

Photo: Getty Images [via Axios]

The Facts

  • The US Dept. of Justice (DOJ) announced criminal charges on Wed. against a member of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) for allegedly trying to orchestrate the assassination of John Bolton, who served in senior national security positions during the Trump and Bush administrations. Former Sec. of State Mike Pompeo is also thought to have been a target.

  • The DOJ charged Shahram Poursafi, also known as Mehdi Rezayi, with utilizing interstate business facilities in the planning of murder-for-hire as well as material support to a transnational murder plan.

The Spin

Establishment-critical narrative

The suggestion that Iran is behind such a plot is ridiculous and baseless. It is deeply unethical that Iranian citizens would potentially be targeted because of false accusations that Tehran unequivocally denies. Washington should instead focus its efforts on re-negotiating the 2015 nuclear deal on fair terms.

Pro-establishment narrative

There are plenty of reasons why the US should not deal with the Islamic Republic, and this is another example of Iran's duplicity. How can the United States sign a deal with the regime in Tehran in good faith when Iran continually threatens to assassinate high-ranking US officials?

Narrative C

Though this alleged plot is deeply concerning, the likelihood of prosecution going anywhere is almost zero. Besides the fact that Poursafi is almost certainly safe in Tehran, this is not the first time Iran has plotted to kill US officials, with the US avoiding a direct response to such threats.

Nerd narrative

There's a 10% chance that the US will rejoin the Iran nuclear deal before 2023, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

Establishment split



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