Mike Pompeo also a target in alleged Iranian assassination plot against John Bolton

·Investigative Correspondent
·2 min read
John Bolton adjusts his eyeglasses.
Former national security adviser John Bolton discusses the "current threats to national security" at Duke University in February 2020. (Melissa Sue Gerrits/Getty Images)

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and former national security adviser John Bolton were both targeted in an Iranian assassination plot, a source close to Pompeo told Yahoo News.

On Wednesday, the Justice Department charged a member of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in connection with a plot to murder Bolton, who was part of the Trump administration. The charging documents unsealed on Wednesday reference an unnamed second target, referred to as a former senior high-ranking Trump administration official.

A source close to Pompeo told Yahoo News that Pompeo is the unnamed second target. The Justice Department reached out to the former secretary of state last week to notify him of the plot and upcoming charges unsealed on Wednesday, the source said.

The DOJ declined to comment.

Mike Pompeo at the microphone.
Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando, Fla., on Feb. 25. (Octavio Jones/Reuters)

The source close to Pompeo also told Yahoo News that his decision whether to run for president in 2024 will be influenced by Iran and China.

“He is the one most at risk, because of his frequent travel and because of his potential run in 2024,” the source said.

Yahoo News previously reported that the U.S. government believes Iran wants to assassinate current and former U.S. officials, including Pompeo, to avenge the January 2020 death of Gen. Qassem Soleimani in Iraq. The strike was ordered by then-President Donald Trump.

Protesters hold up an image of Qassem Soleimani.
Protesters in Tehran hold up an image of Qassem Soleimani at a demonstration after the U.S. airstrike on Jan. 3, 2020, that killed him. (Ali Mohammadi/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

The charging documents accuse a member of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Shahram Poursafi, aka Mehdi Rezayi, of trying to pay someone $300,000 to kill Bolton. He allegedly also discussed paying $1 million to kill another target, whom Yahoo News has identified as Pompeo.

Pursuing this second target, the high-ranking Trump official, would be difficult because of the number of people around him, Poursafi said, according to court documents.

“But his/her time will come,” he said. The source close to Pompeo said this is also a reference to Pompeo.

“If Mike Pompeo decides to run for president or doesn’t decide to run for president, it won’t be anyone in the United States who keeps him from running, it will be the Chinese or Iranians,” the source close to Pompeo said.