John Bolton says Iran is facing a & # 39; very strong response & # 39; if it attacks in the Persian Gulf
President Trump & # 39; s National Security Advisor warned Iran on Wednesday that all attacks in the Persian Gulf were a & # 39; very strong response & # 39; from the US, take a harsh approach with Tehran after his boss, just two days earlier, said that America wasn't looking to hurt Iran at all. & # 39;
John Bolton's remarks are the latest in the intensified tensions between Washington and Tehran that took place in the Middle East.
Bolton spoke to journalists in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, who warned former defense minister Jim Mattis a few days earlier that & # 39; unilateralism will not work & # 39; confronting the Islamic Republic.
The dueling approaches emphasize the division of Iran within American politics.
John Bolton, president of President Trump's national security adviser, warned Iran on Wednesday that attacks in the Persian Gulf were a & # 39; very strong reaction & # 39; from the US.
The US has accused Tehran of following a series of incidents this month, including the alleged sabotage of oil tankers off the coast of Emirati, a rocket attack at the US embassy in Baghdad and a coordinated drone attack on Saudi Arabia by Yemen & # 39; s Iran-allied Houthi rebels.
On Wednesday, Bolton told journalists that there had also been a previously unknown attempt to attack Yanbu's Saudi oil gate, which he also blamed on Iran.
He described Tehran's decision to renounce his 2015 nuclear deal with world powers as proof that he was looking for nuclear weapons, even though it came a year after America unilaterally withdrew from the unraveling agreement.
Bolton emphasized that the US has not seen any further Iranian attacks since, something he attributed to the recent military deployment. America recently sent an aircraft carrier and B-52 bombers to the Persian Gulf.
But he warned that the US would hit back if it was attacked again.
& # 39; It is about making it very clear to Iran and its surrogates that these types of actions risk a very strong reaction from the United States & # 39 ;, Bolton threatened, without explaining himself.
Bolton spoke for the talks with the powerful crown prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
He refused to have his comments recorded by journalists.
An old Iran hawk, Bolton blamed Tehran for the recent incidents. At one point, he said it & # 39; almost certainly & # 39; Iran planted explosives on the four oil tankers off the coast of the UAE.
He refused to provide evidence for his claims.
& # 39; Who else would you think it is? & # 39; Bolton asked at a certain point when pressed. & # 39; Someone from Nepal? & # 39;
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has repeatedly criticized Bolton as a war girl. Abbas Mousavi, a spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry, said later on Wednesday that Bolton's comments were a & # 39; ridiculous accusation & # 39; goods.
Bolton made the remarks two days after his boss, President Trump, said the US didn't want to hurt at all & # 39;
Separately in Tehran, President Hassan Rouhani said that the & # 39; road is not closed & # 39; when it comes to talks with the US – when America returns to the nuclear deal.
The relatively moderate Rouhani, however, is faced with increasing criticism from hardliners and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei of the collapsing agreement.
Meanwhile, Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said that about 900 troops coming to the Middle East about Iran's alleged threat to strengthen the tens of thousands already in the region would be placed in Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
A further 600 connected to a Patriot rocket battery have been expanded in the region.
& # 39; The Iranian threat to our troops in the region remains & # 39 ;, said Shanahan.
Bolton spoke in Abu Dhabi and connected the rocket fire in Baghdad, the alleged sabotage of the ships and the drone attack by Yemen & # 39; s rebels, and described them as a reaction from Iran and its proxies.
& # 39; I think it's important that leadership in Iran knows we know, & # 39; said Bolton.
He then brought forward what he thought could be a fourth, previously unknown, attack.
& # 39; There had also been an attack a few days before the attack on the tankers, an unsuccessful attack on the Saudi port of Yanbu, & # 39; he said without working out.
Saudi officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment about Bolton's claim to Yanbu, which is the end or end point of the East-West pipeline of the kingdom.
The Houthi & # 39; s have already attacked two pumping stations on that pipeline during a coordinated drone attack.
Bolton also said the US would stimulate US military installations and those of its allies in the region.
The White House said on Wednesday that Bolton will meet its counterparts from Israel and Russia in Jerusalem next month to discuss regional security issues.
The White House Secretary, Sarah Sanders, has not disclosed further details about Bolton & # 39; s planned meeting with Israeli National Security Advisor Meir Ben-Shabbat and Nikolai Patrushev, Secretary of the Russian Security Council.
Earlier this month, on the first anniversary of Trump & # 39; s withdrawal from the nuclear deal, Tehran announced that it would renounce the deal.
The agreement saw Iran restrict uranium enrichment in exchange for lifting economic sanctions. Trump withdrew from the agreement when he said it did not go far enough to limit the Iranian nuclear program, nor did it address Iran's ballistic missile program.
Bolton said that without more nuclear power stations it would not make sense for Iran to make more low-enriched uranium available as it is planning to do. But the US has also cut off Iran's ability to sell its uranium to Russia in exchange for unprocessed yellow cuckoo uranium.
Separately in Tehran, President Hassan Rouhani said that the & # 39; road is not closed & # 39; is when it comes to talks with the US – when America returns to the nuclear deal
Iran set a deadline for Europe on 7 July to offer better conditions for the unraveling nuclear deal, otherwise it will resume enrichment closer to the level of weapons. Bolton refused to say what the US would do about it.
& # 39; There is no reason for them to do that unless that is part of an attempt to reduce the breakout time to produce nuclear weapons, & # 39; said Bolton. & # 39; That is a very serious problem if they continue to do so. & # 39;
Bolton & # 39; s trip to the UAE comes just days after Trump seemed to welcome negotiations with Iran in Tokyo.
& # 39; We are not looking for regime change – I want to make that clear, & # 39; said Trump. & # 39; We are not looking for nuclear weapons. & # 39;
But Bolton himself, for years before becoming a national security adviser, called for the Iranian government to be overthrown in interviews and in paid speeches for an Iranian exile group.
& # 39; I'm not going back. Those are functions I have taken as a private citizen, & Bolton said when asked about his earlier comments. & # 39; I am currently a government official. I advise the president. I am the national security adviser, not the national security decision maker. It is up to him to make those decisions. & # 39;
He also rejected the reports that he was criticized by Trump for his hard line-up with what he described as an old saying: "The dogs bark and the caravan moves on."
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