The US accused Iran this Wednesday of plotting to assassinate former US national security advisor, John Bolton, without presenting any evidence.
It was on this Wednesday that in a new round of rivalry between Washington and Tehran, the US Justice Department announced that Iran had plotted to assassinate John Bolton, US national security advisor in the former administration.
In a statement, the Justice Department claimed that Shahram Poursafi, an alleged member of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), paid an unidentified US-based individual about $300,000 to carry out the killing of John Bolton.
“Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, through the Defendant, tried to hatch a brazen plot: assassinate a former US official on US soil in retaliation for US actions,” Matthew Graves, US attorney for Washington, said in the statement, also noting that the assassination plot was indeed an effort to retaliate what the former US government did in assassinating Iran’s Gen. Qasim Soleimani two years ago.
Iran’s reaction to the charges
Tehran, however, dismissed the US charges as “ridiculous and baseless”. In a news conference later in Wednesday, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani said that the new charges against Iran are merely the “continuation of US endless accusations against the Islamic Republic of Iran and of the failed Iran phobia policy.”
Kanaani also noted that “the American judicial authorities have raised accusations without providing valid evidence and necessary documentation”, and that “weaving these thread-like and baseless legends is becoming a repeated procedure in the American judicial and propaganda system.”
In the end, Kanaani warned that any action against any Iranian civilian or official in any part of the world will not be left without a strong response. “The Islamic Republic of Iran strongly warns against any action against Iranian citizens under the pretext of these ridiculous accusations and emphasizes that it reserves the right to take any action within the framework of international law to defend the rights of the Iranian government and citizens.”
US reacts to Iran’s reaction!
Meanwhile, the White House warned Iran that if it targets Americans, it must face severe consequences. “We have said this before and we will say it again: The Biden Administration will not waiver in protecting and defending all Americans against threats of violence and terrorism,” national security adviser Jake Sullivan said in a statement.
The DOJ’s controversial statement was issued at the same time as the US and Iran are indirectly engaged in a new round of efforts to revive the 2015 nuclear deal known as the JCPOA.
It seems, therefore, that if the charges are not based on proven evidence, which has so far been so because the DOJ hasn’t provided any, then the whole story can be construed as another US effort to promote anti-Iran propaganda amid hopes for the revival of the nuclear agreement.
It should also be borne in mind that John Bolton has always been a tough critic of any kind of agreement with Iran, including the nuclear deal inked during the Obama administration.
In a statement he issued after Wednesday charges, Bolton once again attacked the efforts to revive the JCPOA and noted that “America re-entering the failed 2015 Iran nuclear deal would be an unparalleled self-inflicted wound, to ourselves and our closest Middle East allies. I remain committed to making sure it does not happen.”