U.S. National Security Advisor: Preventing Nuclear Iran Highest Priority
United States National Security Advisor John Bolton reaffirmed in Jerusalem Monday that one of the White House’s top priorities is to prevent Iran from ever acquiring atomic weapons, and “This is why President [Donald] Trump withdrew from the wretched Iran nuclear deal, this is why he has imposed economic sanctions, this is why we are working with our friends in Europe to convince them of the need to take stronger steps against [the Islamic Republic].” Bolton, who is visiting Israel for the first time since assuming his position and has twice in the last three days met with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, also highlighted a need to curb Tehran’s regional expansionism. Washington, he declared, is “continuously [concerned] about Iran’s role as the central banker for international terrorism…[and] about Iran’s belligerent military activity…in Syria, with Hizbullah in Lebanon, and in Yemen.” Notably, his comments came a day after he suggested that Russia was on-side with a key U.S. and Israeli demand that Tehran be forced to end all military operations in Syria as the conflict winds down. For his part, the Israeli premier thanked President Trump for nixing the “terrible deal with Iran,” a move Netanyahu called “nothing less than a hinge of history…[which is a] view shared by all our Arab neighbors, or practically everyone in this region.” Earlier this month, Washington re-imposed sanctions on Iran, with a second batch of financial penalties targeting the country’s crucial energy and shipping sectors slated to take effect in November. Meanwhile, two Iranians were indicted Monday in the U.S. for purportedly conducting surveillance on Israeli and Jewish targets as well as on opponents of the Iranian regime.