Bolton: US Could Sanction European Companies Doing Business With Iran

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Bolton: 'Regime change' in Iran not policy of Trump administration

The administration said it expects its allies will come on board with its Iran policy but doesn't exclude the possibility of punishing them.

WASHINGTON ― White House national security adviser John Bolton warned on Sunday that President Donald Trump's withdrawal from the worldwide agreement over Iran's nuclear program could result in sanctions on companies based in European nations that are critical USA allies.

In a separate interview on CNN's "State of the Union", he said Iran's economic condition is "really quite shaky", so the impact of sanctions "could be dramatic". Both Bolton and Pompeo suggested they believed the great powers of Europe might eventually see the light.

Donald Trump announced on Tuesday that he was leaving agreement sponsored by Barack Obama for lifting of sanctions on Iran in exchange for regime's stopping its nuclear career for a decade and accepting controls on it. Those sanctions could involve secondary sanctions, which would penalize countries whose companies continue to trade with Iran.

While he has committed to remaining in the nuclear agreement, French President Emmanuel Macron floated the idea of a supplemental deal on Iran during a recent visit to Washington.

The other countries involved in the deal remain in the accord despite Trump's decision.

Germany, France and Britain were three of the six signatories to the 2015 pact which saw sanctions lifted in return for the commitment by Tehran not to acquire nuclear weapons.

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"That's what we are going to do and I will be hard at it with the Europeans in the next several days", said the top USA diplomat.

Bolton, who has in political circles, a reputation as a "hawk" claimed that USA sanctions will be a decisive argument and convince Europe to reconsider a deal with Iran.

"They were shifting the balance of power in the Middle East until President Trump got out of this deal".

"The circumstances in I'm in now is that I'm the national security adviser to the president. I think that will sink in, and we'll see what happens then".

"Countries that continue to deal with Iran could face US sanctions", he said, also suggesting that European countries may change their stance on Trump's decision to withdraw from the deal.

"I'm 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 their missiles and their malign behavior as well". That's what we're going to do and I'll work hard with Europeans in next few days. The announcement triggered USA plans to reimpose sanctions on the Islamic Republic within about six months.

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