TEHRAN: Iran dismissed as “fiction” on Thursday US allegations it had plotted to kill former White House national security adviser John Bolton in retaliation for the assassination of one of its top commanders.

The US claim comes at a crunch moment in talks on reviving a nuclear deal between Iran and major powers that Washington had abandoned in 2018 but has said it wants to rejoin, with Iran now considering what European Union mediators have called a “final” text.

“The US Justice Department has made allegations without providing valid evidence, creating a new work of fiction,” Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman Nasser Kanani said.

“This time they have come up with a plot involving individuals like Bolton whose political career has failed,” Kanani scoffed.

“The Islamic Republic warns against any action that targets Iranian citizens by resorting to ridiculous accusations.” On Wednesday the US Justice Department announced it had stifled a plot by a member of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) to kill Bolton, offering an unidentified person inside the United States $300,000 to carry out the job.

The alleged plan was likely set in retaliation for the US killing of top Guards commander Qasem Soleimani in Iraq in January 2020, the department said.

The plot, which stretched from October 2021 until April this year, never made headway because the ostensible assassin was an informant of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Published in Dawn, August 12th, 2022

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