Charges against a member of Iran’s paramilitary force for attempting to assassinate a former top U.S. national security official should not affect the outcome of ongoing U.S. efforts to renegotiate a nuclear control agreement with Iran, a U.S. official told Reuters Wednesday.
The Department of Justice indicted a member of the Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), designated as a terrorist organization by the U.S., Wednesday for plotting to kill former National Security Advisor John Bolton in revenge for the assassination of IRGC General Qassem Soleimani in 2020. As discussions to revive the 2015 nuclear deal providing sanctions relief in exchange for a cap on Iran’s nuclear program were ongoing, the U.S. offered additional lifting of sanctions if Iran would pledge to cease all efforts to avenge Soleimani, Reuters reported.
According to the official, the Department of Justice’s charges against Shahram Poursafi, a member of the IRGC’s elite Quds Force, were pursued independently of U.S. diplomatic efforts to renegotiate the 2015-era nuclear deal. “In our view, it shouldn’t” affect the talks, the official told Reuters.
“Under any return to the JCPOA, the United States would retain and aggressively use our powerful tools to address Iran’s destabilizing activities and its support for terrorism and terrorist proxies, and especially to counter the IRGC,” a State Department spokesperson told Reuters in April, referring to the nuclear deal.