Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton, who along with other members of the Trump administration was tagged in a death plot by members of Iran's Revolutionary Guard, said on Newsmax Thursday that the Biden administration, in a further show of weakness toward Iran, is not doing enough to protect his safety and that of other Americans.
"It's really not a focus just on me," Bolton said on Newsmax's "American Agenda." "There are a number of former government officials who I think are at risk from the government in Tehran and a number of people who are just average American citizens who have said things critical of the government of Iran who are at risk of their lives as well."
Bolton, who was then-President Donald Trump's national security adviser, and ex-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo were part of an assassination plot in recent months. The Justice Department said a suspect, Shahram Poursafi, also known as Mehdi Rezayi, 45, of Tehran, offered to pay $300,000 for a killer to carry out Bolton's murder in either Washington, D.C., or Maryland. The bounty on Pompeo's head was reportedly $1 million.
"The most important conclusion to draw here is the kind of threat that the government in Iran poses to America," Bolton said. "They're trying to kill Americans on American soil, and that's essentially unprecedented in my view, and it constitutes a threat."
And that means there must be a stronger response from the Biden administration, he said.
"It's part and parcel of the threat posed by the Iranian nuclear weapons program," said Bolton. "They are two sides of the same coin, and both a threat to the United States."
But the Biden administration has demonstrated its "unwillingness to take a hard line" on Iran's violations of the 2015 nuclear deal and has shown its weakness by making several concessions to revive the deal, said Bolton.
Those agreements, said Bolton, show the "absence of any clear indication to Iran that it is unacceptable not simply to attack Americans, but to plan to attack Americans."
There must be a further effort at deterrence, he added.
Meanwhile, the Trump administration insisted that the Iranian Revolutionary Guard be designated as a terrorist organization, but Iran demanded that designation be lifted, said Bolton.
"At the same time, the Revolutionary Guards are plotting and actively seeking instruments to kill American citizens," said Bolton. "It's been reported, and I believe that the Biden administration response was: 'Well, why doesn't Tehran just commit that they won't kill any Americans.'"
But, he said, "that would have about as much force as a commitment that they're not going to seek nuclear weapons," Bolton continued.
The former ambassador said the porous southern border is also a threat to the United States because terrorists can easily come across it.
"Even the Obama administration indicated that people came across the southern border to kill the Saudi Arabian ambassador to the United States and Washington," said Bolton. "The porous southern border is an easier way to get into the United States than trying to fly into a major international airport, and I think that's something we have not paid enough attention to."
Further, it's not enough for the administration to promise to take action if an American is attacked, as was said as recently as this week, Bolton said.
"We don't want to wait for somebody to be killed," he said. "I can say that with a certain amount of personal interest and then respond. We want to turn the Iranians from doing it in the first place, and that I think pretty clearly, unfortunately, we are not doing that at the moment."
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