Published: Sun, May 13, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Bolton: European countries could be sanctioned

Bolton: European countries could be sanctioned

White House National Security adviser John Bolton on Sunday said US sanctions on European companies that do business with Iran were "possible, but Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he remained hopeful Washington and its allies could strike a new nuclear deal with Tehran". "The answer is, it's possible, it depends on the conduct of other governments", Bolton replied.

U.S. President Donald Trump on May 8 announced that the United States was withdrawing from a 2015 deal negotiated by the Obama administration.

Although the deal's other members emphasized their commitment to remaining in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the USA threatened to impose sanctions on any companies enabling Iran by doing business with the country.

"Nations that proceed to take care of Iran may face US sanctions", he mentioned.

Bolton asserted that Iran has been increasingly exercising its military power in the Middle East "under cover" of its nuclear deal with the USA and its European allies.

Western allies in the deal - including France and Britain - urged Trump to remain in the deal and have suggested that such companies will continue to do business with Iran.

"The policy of the administration is to make sure that Iran never gets close to deliverable nuclear weapons", he added.

"I've written and said a lot of things over the years when I was a complete free agent", Bolton said when pressed on the issue regime change in Iran on CNN's "State of the Union".

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European Union officials have indicated they may threaten similar measures to those that pressured then president Bill Clinton to give waivers to European companies under United States sanctions on countries such as Cuba during the 1990s.

"If you happen to have a look at the advances that Iran has made underneath cowl of this settlement, its standard army and terrorist advances, in Iraq, in Syria, in Lebanon, in Yemen, since 2015, Iran was actually on the march", Bolton mentioned. "It's reminiscent of the saying attributed to Vladimir Lenin that the capitalists will sell us the rope with which we'll hang them", he said. "I think that will sink in, and we'll see what happens then".

"I am hopeful in the days and weeks ahead we can come up with a deal that really works, that really protects the world from Iranian bad behavior, not just their nuclear program, but there missiles and their malign behavior as well", Pompeo said on "Fox News Sunday". "And I will work closely with the Europeans to try and achieve that". But "the sanctions that are in place are very clear".

"Iran was shifting the balance of power in the Middle East until President Trump got out of this deal", Bolton said. Bruno Le Maire, the French finance minister, said last week: "We have to work among ourselves in Europe to defend our European economic sovereignty".

Others were dubious that withdrawing from the nuclear deal would prove effective, particularly since it shattered an global alliance that worked to negotiate the deal with Iran.

"I don't believe we will ever be able to put Humpty-Dumpty back together again", James Clapper, former director of national intelligence, said on "Fareed Zakaria's Global Positioning System".

Bolton also addressed the planned opening on Monday of the U.S.'s new embassy in Jerusalem.

He said that more Americans from the private sector to help build the energy grid and to work with them to develop infrastructure. Bolton told Tapper that the president will demand verifiable and irreversible denuclearization for a deal to be reached with North Korea.

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