FBI hunts alleged Iranian spy who ‘plotted to kill Mike Pompeo’

Majid Dastjani Farahani is suspected of working for Iran's ministry of intelligence and security
Majid Dastjani Farahani is suspected of working for Iran's ministry of intelligence and security - FBI

The FBI is hunting for an alleged Iranian spy accused of plotting to assassinate Mike Pompeo, the former secretary of state, in revenge for the killing of military leader Qasem Soleimani.

Majid Dastjani Farahani, 41, is suspected of working for Iran’s ministry of intelligence and security and, according to the agency leading the manhunt, has been involved in the “lethal targeting” of current and former US government officials.

In a “most wanted” notice, the FBI said: “Farahani is wanted for questioning in connection with the recruitment of individuals for various operations in the United States as revenge for the killing of Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani.

“Farahani also reportedly recruited individuals for surveillance activities focused on religious sites, businesses, and other facilities in the United States. Farahani acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, Iran’s ministry of intelligence and security.”

According to the agency’s Miami field office, Farahani speaks French, Spanish and English and frequently travels between Iran and Venezuela.

‘Another man targeted’

Iran vowed to take revenge on the US following the drone strike on Jan 3 2020 that killed Soleimani, then head of the Quds Force, the overseas arm of its Revolutionary Guards.

Aside from Mr Pompeo, who was secretary of state under Donald Trump at the time of the attack, the FBI also believes Iran is targeting Brian Hook, the ex-president’s envoy to Tehran, according to Semafor.

Both Mr Pompeo and Mr Hook have been receiving around-the-clock security as a result of the increased threat level while Farahani remains at large.

Farahani was sanctioned by the US Treasury department in December, which claimed he works for Iran to “aggressively target and stifle opponents and dissenting voices”.

“The regime’s efforts to silence its opponents extend far beyond its borders, where Iran has carried out acts of transnational repression, including rendition and lethal plotting against activists, journalists, and foreign government officials,” the Treasury department said at the time.

Tehran was also accused of trying to assassinate a US government official in 2022 when the US Department of Justice indicted several members of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard for plotting to kill Mr Trump’s former national security adviser, John Bolton.