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Blinken: Iran Plotting to Assassinate Top American Officials While Negotiating with U.S.

‘We continue to believe that getting back into compliance with the agreement would be the best way to address the nuclear challenge posed by Iran,’ Antony Blinken told US lawmakers [Bonnie Cash/Pool via Reuters]

Secretary of State Antony Blinken indicated this week that Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps continues to plot the assassination of both current and former top United States officials while talks regarding the Iran nuclear deal are still underway.

Secretary Blinken made the comments during his Senate Foreign Relations Committee testimony when Senator Ted Cruz asked if it’s “true that the IRGC is actively trying to murder former senior officials of the U.S.?” Secretary Blinken responded that “there is an ongoing threat against American officials both present and past.”

In March, members of the IRGC were reported to be plotting the assassination of former National Security Adviser John Bolton even while American and Iranian diplomats mingled in Vienna. Secretary Blinken’s comments were first to suggest that currently U.S. officials are also being threatened.

While the U.S. is working to deter these open threats from the Iranian regime’s paramilitary group, American negotiators remain at the table in Vienna to work towards a deal.

Senator Cruz asked Secretary Blinken flatly if the IRGC has been asked to stop plotting assassinations. Blinken responded that “one of the strong messages we send to them [Iranian negotiators] is they need to stop targeting our people… and they said they know what they would need to do to address this problem.”

Last month, media outlets reported that the U.S. was open to removing IRGC’s terrorist designation in return for reaching a nuclear deal and receiving commitment to de-escalation of terrorist activities in Iran’s sphere of influence. These reports were followed up by word that Iran’s regime was interested in providing no such commitment.

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