Per Reuters: A US official has said that the US Justice Department's decision to charge a member of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps with plotting to assassinate former President Donald Trump's NSA John Bolton shouldn't affect nuclear negotiations with Iran.
- The planned assassination was likely in retaliation for the killing of Qassim Suleimani, a commander of the IRGC.
- The man charged with the crime, Shahram Poursafi, is not in custody and remains abroad.
- US Assistant Attorney General Matthew Olsen said it, “is not the first time we have uncovered Iranian plots to exact revenge against individuals on US soil, and we will work tirelessly to expose and disrupt every one of these efforts.”
- The charges against the IRGC operative illustrates why the US was unwilling to remove the IRGC from the list on the US Foreign Terrorist Organisation lists -one of the "extraneous" Iranian demands which led to the collapse of JCPOA talks in May.
- A final JCPOA deal drafted in consultation with EU intermediaries has been presented to the US and Iranian delegations and is awaiting final ratification.
- A deal has appeared closer this week than at any time in the past four months, but observers close to the talks report of pessimism amongst delegations that a final deal can be achieved as trust between camps is at an all-time low.