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Bolton Claims Trump Backed Possible Israeli Attack on Iran

In a leaked excerpt of his forthcoming book, former US National Security Adviser John Bolton claimed that President Donald Trump expressed support for Israeli military strikes on Iran. In a 2017 meeting, which took place prior to Bolton assuming his position, the two men discussed a slew of issues related to the Middle East. “On Iran, I urged that [Trump] press ahead to withdraw from the nuclear agreement and explained why the use of force against Iran’s nuclear program might be the only lasting solution,” Bolton wrote. While Israel was not specifically mentioned, President Trump allegedly responded: “You tell Bibi [Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu] that if he uses force, I will back him. I told him that, but you tell him again.” Bolton also recounted a story of a potential French-brokered meeting between the US president and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. According to the book, Netanyahu caught wind of the possibility and frantically tried to reach President Trump, who at the time was attending a G7 summit. However, senior White House adviser Jared Kushner purportedly blocked the Israeli prime minister’s phone calls. “When he hung up, Kushner explained he had stopped this and an earlier effort by Netanyahu because he didn’t think it was appropriate for a foreign leader to talk to Trump about whom he should speak to,” Bolton noted.