Former national security adviser John Bolton appeared to joke about an alleged plot to kill him on Wednesday, complaining that the money for his would-be assassin was too low.
Bolton told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that the $300,000 payment by Shahram Poursafi, an Iranian citizen and member of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, was “embarrassing.”
Poursafi, also known as Mehdi Rezai, is accused of conspiring to assassinate Bolton in Washington, DC or Maryland and paying an unnamed person to kill Bolton.
Blitzer asked Bolton on Wednesday: “Ambassador, what goes through your mind as the details of this plot are described today by the US Department of Justice?”
“Well, I’m embarrassed at the low price,” Bolton said. “I thought it would be higher. But I think it might be an exchange rate issue or something.”
“I read the document with great interest. I had not seen it before. I was not aware of many of the specifics in it, although I had long understood what the threat was,” said the former national security adviser. .
Bolton has long been an outspoken critic of the current regime in Iran, which has ruled the country since the Islamic revolution in 1979. In a statement he shared on Twitter on Wednesday, he thanked the Department of Justice (DOJ) and also took aim at Iran. Govt.
“Although not much can be said publicly right now, one thing is indisputable: Iran’s rulers are liars, terrorists and enemies of the United States,” Bolton said. “Their radical, anti-American intentions have not changed; their commitments are unwavering; and their global threat is growing.”
Bolton criticized the prospect of the US re-entering the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran agreed to by former President Barack Obama. Former President Donald Trump withdrew from that deal.
Newsweek Bolton’s PAC has been asked for comment.
Bolton served as national security adviser under Trump from 2018 to 2019 but has since become a critic of the former president.
The DOJ said the plot to kill Bolton was “retaliation by nature” for the January 2020 killing of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani.
Poursafi initially offered a confidential source $250,000 to hire someone to “eliminate” Bolton on Nov. 19, 2021, but the price was later raised to $300,000, according to court documents.
Bolton has frequently called for regime change in Iran and caused some controversy in July when he said he had orchestrated coups in other parts of the world.
He was arguing that Trump did not attempt to stage a coup on January 6, 2021.
“Someone who helped plan coups—not here, but in other places—that takes a lot of work. And that’s what they didn’t do,” Bolton said. “It’s just stumbling from one idea to another.”