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Bolton to Asharq Al-Awsat: Negotiations with Tehran behind Delay in Revealing Assassination Plot

Bolton to Asharq Al-Awsat: Negotiations with Tehran behind Delay in Revealing Assassination Plot

Friday, 12 August, 2022 - 06:30
National Security Advisor John Bolton answers questions from reporters as he announces that the US will withdraw from a treaty with Iran during a news conference in the White House briefing room in Washington, October 3, 2018. (Jonathan Ernst – Reuters)

Former US National Security Advisor John Bolton said that President Joe Biden’s administration has delayed announcing an Iranian plot to assassinate him due to the nuclear negotiations with Tehran.

In an interview with Asharq Al-Awsat, Bolton said that the current US administration has suspended the unveiling of the scheme, pending the indirect US-Iranian talks to revive the 2015 nuclear deal.

He also criticized Biden administration’s supplicatory approach to revive the nuclear agreement, describing it as a grave mistake for the United States and its friends and allies in the Middle East.

The Department of Justice charged Iranian Shahram Poursafi, 45, with plotting to assassinate former President Donald Trump’s national security advisor.

Poursafi tried to arrange the killing of Bolton in retaliation for the January 2020 US airstrike that killed Iran’s top commander, Gen. Qasem Soleimani, according to court documents.

Bolton strongly condemned the US administration’s policy towards Iran, warning against separating the nuclear agreement from Tehran’s support for terrorism.

He noted in this regard that Iran’s nuclear weapons program and its terrorist capabilities were two sides of the same coin.

The former US security advisor considered that Biden’s policy would send a message of weakness to Iran, which Tehran would exploit in its favor.

Regarding the details of the assassination plot, he said that he was not surprised when he heard that former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was among the targets of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, pointing to other names on the list, including former Defense Secretary Mark Esper and former Commander of the US Central Command Kenneth McKenzie.

Bolton, on the other hand, expressed his gratitude to Biden for allowing members of the Secret Service to be assigned to protect him. He said the FBI warned him in the spring of 2020 of potential threats against his life.

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