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Tags: ambassador | john bolton | iran | bounty | mike pompeo | irgc | assassinate

John Bolton 'Embarrassed' Bounty on Him Wasn't Higher

john bolton gestures while speaking
Former National Security Adviser John Bolton discusses the "current threats to national security" during a forum at the Page Auditorium on the campus of Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, on Feb. 17, 2020. (Melissa Sue Gerrits/Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 11 August 2022 08:40 AM EDT

Former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton said he was "embarrassed" that the price on his head hadn't been set higher by an Iranian national.

Bolton, speaking Wednesday on CNN, was asked about a plot by a member of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guard Corps to assassinate him and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

The Justice Department (DOJ) said Shahram Poursafi, also known as Mehdi Rezayi, 45, of Tehran, attempted to pay individuals $300,000 to carry out Bolton's murder in Washington, D.C., or Maryland.

"Well, I was embarrassed at the low price. I thought it would've been higher," Bolton, national security adviser under former President Donald Trump, told Wolf Blitzer. "But I guess maybe it was the exchange rate problem or something."

The DOJ on Wednesday announced charges against Poursafi, who likely was motivated to kill Bolton in retaliation for the death of IRGC Commander Qasem Soleimani, who was killed in a U.S. drone strike in January 2020.

"I read the document with great interest. I had not seen it before," Bolton said on CNN. "I was not aware of many of the specifics in it, although obviously I had long had a general understanding of what the threat was.

"And I think it's quite correct to say many other Americans are in the targets of this regime. It tells you what the regime is. It tells you about its character. And frankly, from my point of view, the regime's terrorist activities are just the other side of the coin of its nuclear weapon program."

Although the DOJ's criminal complaint did not mention Pompeo, multiple reports said that the former secretary of state also was targeted for assassination.

"I have not spoken with him [Pompeo], I was not aware that he was targeted," Bolton told CNN. "I've seen the press reports, and again, it wouldn't surprise me. I think there are a substantial number of people who are vulnerable to these Iranian efforts, and unfortunately, I'm afraid we may learn of more. Not just former public officials but [also] private American citizens who disagree with the regime."

Bolton said the Biden administration was making a mistake trying to reenter the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with Iran.

"I think it's a big mistake for the administration to continue to show weakness to Iran by begging to get back into the 2015 nuclear deal," Bolton told CNN. "I think it encourages Tehran to engage in just these kinds of terrorist activities."

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Former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton said he was "embarrassed" that the price on his head hadn't been set higher by an Iranian national.
ambassador, john bolton, iran, bounty, mike pompeo, irgc, assassinate
Thursday, 11 August 2022 08:40 AM
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