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Terrorism

US intelligence uncovers plot by Iran’s Quds Force to assassinate John Bolton: Report

The report suggests Biden administration officials are resisting publicly indicting the men for fear that it could derail their drive for a nuclear deal with Iran.

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The US has uncovered a plot by Iran to kill one of the national security advisors to former President Donald Trump, a US official was cited as saying in an article published Monday.

According to the plot, which the Washington Examiner reported, at least two Iranian nationals from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards’ - Quds Force (IRGC-QF) were looking to recruit an assassin on US soil to kill former national security advisor John Bolton.

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The Quds Force is the branch that controls Iranian militias and proxies outside of its borders.

Bolton celebrated the drone strike ordered by Trump in 2020, which wiped out then-Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani. The former was no longer Trump’s national security advisor at the time of the strike.

“The source tells the Washington Examiner that the department possesses indictable evidence against the Iranians but that Biden administration officials are resisting publicly indicting the men for fear that it could derail their drive for a nuclear deal with Iran, currently nearing completion in negotiations in Vienna, Austria,” the report cited a Justice Department official as saying.

Asked about the plot, a Justice Department spokesperson told Al Arabiya English: “As a matter of Department policy, we do not confirm or deny non-public law enforcement activity. In every case, the Department’s decision whether to charge would be made based on the facts and law and in accordance with the principles of federal prosecution.”

Since taking office, one of US President Joe Biden’s foreign policy priorities has been to re-enter the Iran nuclear deal that Trump withdrew from.

The report also cited the Justice Department source as saying that members of the US intelligence community, the FBI and prosecutors are “frustrated and angry” with the Biden administration for not issuing any indictments “and suspect political foot-dragging.”

Bolton was reportedly asked to sign an agreement that prevented him from disclosing intelligence on the threats against him.

The Washington Examiner reported that US officials became aware of the plot to kill Bolton “earlier this year or late in 2021.”

As a result, Bolton was given a full-time Secret Service detail alongside other FBI “assets.”

Current National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan warned Iran against targeting any former or present US officials during remarks made in January.

Sullivan was responding to a list of Americans that Iran “sanctioned” for what it said were acts of terrorism and human rights violations.

It’s unclear if Sullivan was aware of the plot to assassinate Bolton at the time.

Al Arabiya English has reached out to the National Security Council and the State Department referred questions to the Justice Department.

Read more: Timeline: Iran’s assassinations and plots to kill dissidents living abroad

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