Bolton: US Could Sanction European Companies Doing Business With Iran

Saul Loeb  AFP  Getty

Saul Loeb AFP Getty

National Security Adviser John Bolton speaks on a morning television show from the grounds of the White House, on May 9, 2018 in Washington, DC.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo dismantled the idea that Iran is better off without USA involvement in the Iran Nuclear deal.

If the deal collapses completely, global monitoring of Iran's nuclear facilities and restrictions placed on the country's nuclear program could end, while sanctions demanded by the US on the Iranian oil industry and other sectors could be reimposed. "It depends on the conduct of other governments".

"The consequences of American sanctions go way beyond goods shipped by American companies because of our technology licenses to many other countries and businesses around the world".

Pompeo said he was "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 behaviour, not just their nuclear programme, but their missiles and their malign behaviour as well".

European officials are brainstorming ways to protect their countries' business interests in Iran and also preserve the deal's procedures to prevent Iranian nuclear weapons development by keeping economic benefits to the country flowing.

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Germany's minister for economic affairs, Peter Altmaier, said on Sunday that Berlin will try to "persuade the USA government to change its behaviour".

As to the idea of whether or not Iran felt less constrained now that the Trump administration pulled out of the Iran Deal, Pompeo had a concise answer: "That's ludicrous".

Part of the flaw with the Iran deal that President Donald Trump rejected was it enticed Europe and the USA into economic relations with Iran that would work against holding the country accountable for violations of the agreement, Bolton said.

In a Fox News interview in January, Bolton said the United States should take steps such as increasing economic pressure on Iran and providing support to opponents of the government. "Our goal should be regime change in Iran".

"I'm not the national security decision maker", Bolton said, adding that Trump "makes the decision and the advice that I give him is between us".

"There's a lot we can do to, and we should do it", said Bolton, who at the time was with the American Enterprise Institute think tank. A short month after meeting between Trump and Kim Jong-UN to agree on denuclearization of North Korean regime, Secretary of state said that sanctions could be "lifted" against Pyongyang if it dismantles all its capacity in nuclear armament. "I think that will sink in; we'll see what happens then", Bolton said.

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