US John Bolton 'embarrassed by low price' on his head after 'Iran assassination plot'
Bolton, who worked in Donald Trump's administration, was targeted by Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) member Shahram Poursafi, who offered to pay $300,000 for his murder, according to the US Justice Department on Wednesday.
"I was embarrassed at the low price, I would have thought it would have been higher but I guess maybe it was the exchange rate problem of something," Bolton told CNN on Thursday.
The alleged plot was likely in retaliation for the US killing of top IRGC commander Qasem Soleimani in Iraq in January 2020, the Justice Department said.
According to disclosed court documents, Poursafi, working inside Iran, contacted an unknown US resident in October saying he wanted photographs of Bolton.
The unknown person then passed the Iranian on to an FBI informant, whom Poursafi asked to kill Bolton and hinted at a large reward for another high-profile murder.
US court filings also revealed there was a second high-profile target in the alleged Iranian plot with a $1 million bounty on their head, US news site Axios reported Wednesday - former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, head of the State Department when Soleimani was killed.
The 45-year-old Iranian now faces up to 25 years in jail in the US.
The Iranian foreign ministry rebuked the alleged plot as "fiction", and warned "against any action that targets Iranian citizens by resorting to ridiculous accusations".
News of the attempted assassination against Bolton comes as US President Joe Biden's administration tries to salvage a nuclear deal with Tehran to limit their uranium enrichment activities.
The US abandoned the agreement under Trump in 2018. Talks in Vienna between the US and Iran have been ongoing for months, with Washington's designation of the IRGC as a terrorist group becoming one of the main sticking points in negotiations.
Bolton has been highly critical of reviving the deal, telling CNN that the White House is showing "weakness" by "begging" Iran to return to the agreement.