Former national security adviser John Bolton said on Wednesday that the price a member of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) allegedly tried to pay people to kill Bolton was lower than he expected.
“The suspect put a $300,000 price on your head,” anchor Wolf Blitzer said on CNN’s “Situation Room.” “Ambassador, what goes through your mind hearing the details of this plot, described in great detail today by the US Department of Justice?”
“Well, I’m embarrassed at the low price,” Bolton responded. “I thought it was more. But I think it might be an exchange rate issue or something.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) made the plot public on Wednesday, saying Sharam Poursafi began planning to kill Bolton in October in retaliation for his involvement in the drone strike that killed Qassem Soleimani, who headed the IRGC division.
Poursafi reportedly planned to target former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who served in a role during the drone strike against Soleimani. Bolton told CNN he had not spoken to Pompeo about the unsealed charging document and was only aware of press reports about his target.
Bolton added that the FBI had warned him about foreign threats to his security, which “grew more acute” as time went on, after his time in the White House ended his Secret Service detail but was recently reinstated.
“Finally, by the end of the fall of 2021, I asked if it was serious enough that maybe the Secret Service should be involved,” Bolton said. “And ultimately, President Biden made that decision. And I appreciate that, obviously.
Bolton criticized the Biden administration for negotiating a new nuclear deal with Iran in the wake of the plot, saying efforts to “appease” Tehran would encourage threats against US officials.
European Union (EU)-led talks in Vienna, Austria, to negotiate the text of a potentially revived nuclear deal ended on Monday, and the EU’s foreign affairs chief said capitals must now discuss the final text and there was no more room for negotiation. .
“I think the deal went wrong in 2015,” Bolton said.
“It doesn’t get any better with age,” he continued. “The administration is on its knees in Vienna, begging for a return to the deal, which sends signals of vulnerability not just to Tehran but around the world.”