Bolton denies Iran sanctions about regime change

Bolton denies Iran sanctions about regime change
The remarks, made during a Fox News appearance, are a reversal for the national security adviser.
2 min read
07 August, 2018
John Bolton during an appearance on a press programme [Getty]

National Security Adviser John Bolton said that US sanctions reimposed on Tehran on Tuesday are not aimed at regime change, according to remarks made during a Fox News interview.

Bolton said sanctions are aimed at pressuring Tehran into a broad retreat from its military activity in the Middle East and to curb its ballistic missile and nuclear programmes.

The first phase of US sanctions against Iran began at 12:01 am (5:01 am London time) Tuesday and targets financial transactions involving US dollars. The second phase of sanctions, due 4 November, will target Iran's oil sector and are expected to be more damaging to the country's economy.

Bolton became National Security Adviser on 9 April, replacing H.R. McMaster, after US President Donald Trump appointed him for the post. The decision was widely condemned due to Bolton's ultra-hawk views.

He is an ardent supporter of the People's Mujahedhin of Iran (MEK), a militant Iranian exile group that sided with Saddam Hussein during the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war. 

Bolton has also been a longstanding proponent, like Trump, of scrapping the 2015 Iran nuclear. He is a personal advocate of regime change in Iran and North Korea.

Critics have warned that regime change in Iran would lead to military control, a worse outcome for US interests. 

Trump reportedly had previously passed over Bolton as a candidate for secretary of state because of his bushy moustache. 

"Donald was not going to like that moustache," a source said, according to The Telegraph, speaking on condition of anonymity. "I can't think of anyone that's really close to Donald that has a beard that he likes."

Agencies contributed to this report. 

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