THE PLOT AGAINST AMERICA: From John Bolton to Salman Rushdie, how Iran is targeting Americans with impunity
Bolton and Pompeo including Trump earlier faced death threats from Tehran after US drone strike killed Iranian General Qassem Soleimani two years ago
CHAUTAUQUA, NEW YORK: The attack on Salman Rushdie during an event in New York on Friday, August 12 is being investigated after a 24-year-old Hadi Matar from New Jersey stabbed the controversial author up to 15 times on stage. While the motive behind the attack is still not clear, it has certainly brought the spotlight on Iran’s continuous plotting against the US. Salman Rushdie for decades has been living under the death threat from Iran. His 1988 novel ‘The Satanic Verses’ was dubbed blasphemous by many Muslims across the globe.
The author was later banned in several Islamic nations and also got a fatwa issued to his name by Ayatollah Khomeini. According to the Daily Mail, the plot against the US seems to have become more frequent as recently former National Security Advisor John Bolton was reportedly the target of being assassinated. Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was apparently targeted too by Tehran. The two including Donald Trump earlier faced death threats from Tehran after a US drone strike killed Iranian General Qassem Soleimani two years ago.
Salman Rushdie attack: Nerves in author's arms severed, he may lose an eye, and is on ventilator after liver damage
The plot against John Bolton
According to the Daily Mail, a plan to kill John Bolton was plotted by a member of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). Prosecutors revealed that Shahram Poursafi offered unidentified 'criminal elements' inside the United States $300K to carry out the contract murder. It was apparently in retaliation for the US killing of top Guards commander Soleimani in Iraq in January 2020.
In an interview with CNN, Bolton stated that the alleged plot revealed Iran's approach to foreign policy. “What's important to understand is just how detailed the work was to send me off to the great beyond, and really the extent to which the government of Iran had thought this through, was engaged in planning” adding, “I think it's very clear that it's not just former government officials that Iran is after.”
Iran, on the other hand, denied all the allegations against Poursafi. “The US Justice Department has made allegations without providing valid evidence, creating a new work of fiction,” said Iran's foreign ministry spokesman Nasser Kanani. He added, “This time they have come up with a plot involving individuals like Bolton whose political career has failed” concluding, “The Islamic Republic warns against any action that targets Iranian citizens by resorting to ridiculous accusations.”
Mike Pompeo on the radar
The Justice Department, according to The Daily Mail, said that Poursafi was also gearing up to pay $1 million for a second job. Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was apparently the second target according to Morgan Ortagus, who earlier served as State Department spokesperson. National Counter Terrorism Center in June agreed that Pompeo was among the “priority targets” after a US drone strike killed Soleimani.
An intelligence report shared by Yahoo! News was reportedly widely distributed inside the government and to law enforcement agencies nationwide. The report claimed that former President Donald Trump, former Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, and former CENTCOM Commander General Kenneth McKenzie were among the “priority targets for retribution.”
Iran's leader Ayatollah Khamenei in January shared an animated video that appeared to show a robot calling in a drone strike on Trump while he played golf at Mar-a-Lago in Florida. The clip was titled ‘Revenge is Inevitable', and it was part of a contest to mark the two-year anniversary of the Soleimani's death. In another incident, an Iranian agent identified as Khalid Mehdiyev was indicted over threats against Iranian-American journalist and rights activist Masih Alinejad. He reportedly armed himself with an AK-47 and stalked the Brooklyn home of the journalist. Alinejad, on several occasions, criticized Iran's head-covering laws for women.