John Bolton, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, is calling for President Donald Trump to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal.
Bolton’s comments came in a column written for The Hill.
He said withdrawing from the deal “as soon as possible should be the highest priority.”
“The administration should stop reviewing and start deciding,” he said. “Even assuming, contrary to fact, that Iran is complying with the (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) JCPOA, it remains palpably harmful to American national interests,” he said.
“It should not have taken six months to reach this conclusion. Well before Jan. 20, we saw 18 months of Iranian noncompliance and other hostile behavior as evidence. The Trump transition team should have identified abrogating the deal as one of the incoming administration’s highest policy priorities.”
Bolton said for the second time during the Trump administration, the State Department is reportedly getting set to certify that Iran is complying with the nuclear deal.
“If true, it will be the administration’s second unforced error regarding the JCPOA,” he said. “Over the past two years, considerable information detailing Tehran’s violations of the deal have become public, including: exceeding limits on uranium enrichment and production of heavy water; illicit efforts at international procurement of dual-use nuclear and missile technology; and obstructing international inspection efforts (which were insufficient to begin with).
“Since international verification is fatally inadequate, and our own intelligence far from perfect, these violations undoubtedly only scratch the surface of the ayatollahs’ inexhaustible mendaciousness.”
Bolton noted the president’s primary obligation is to keep citizens safe from foreign threats.
“The president would be derelict in his duty if he failed to put the interests of U.S. citizens first, rather than worrying about the international community developing a case of the vapors,” he said. “The Trump administration itself has already shown the courage of its convictions by withdrawing from the Paris climate accords. Compared to that, abrogating the JCPOA is a one-inch putt.”
He maintained America must act now.
“In the last six months, Iran has made six more months of progress toward posing a mortal threat to America and its allies, and now totals two years since the JCPOA was agreed,” Bolton noted. This U.S. approach is both dangerous and unnecessary. Care to bet how close Tehran – and North Korea – now are? Consider the costs of betting wrong.”
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