It's 'possible' US will sanction European companies that do business with Iran, John Bolton says

His comments follow Donald Trump's unilateral withdrawal from 2015 deal

Andrew Buncombe
New York
Sunday 13 May 2018 14:50
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John Bolton says US could impose sanctions on European countries who do business with Iran

Donald Trump’s national security adviser has said it “is possible” the US will sanction European countries that seek to do business with Iran, following Washington withdrawal from the nuclear deal.

John Bolton, widely considered a hawk on national security and one of those who pushed for George W Bush 2003 invasion of Iraq, said he believed European nations – currently furious by Mr Trump’s unilateral withdrawal from the deal – may eventually change their opinions.

“I think the Europeans will see that it’s in their interests to come along with us,” Mr Bolton said on CNN.

He said of nations such as Britain, France and Germany: “They may try to (stay in the deal), in part because I think despite President Trump’s complete consistency in opposition to the deal…many people, including apparently former Secretary of State John Kerry, thought that we never would get out of it.”

He added that once it sinks in the US does not plan to adhere to the deal, other nations will follow suit.

President Donald Trump states if Iran restarts their nuclear program there will be severe consequences

In the aftermath of Mr Trump’s announcement last week, Iran, along with the six other parties who signed the 2015 deal indicated they would seek to try and keep it working.

The International Atomic Emergency Agency has repeatedly said Tehran is in compliance with the deal, that was hammered out to try and control and limit Iran’s nuclear weapons ambitions and establish a framework for intrusive inspections.

Yet while many European nations may seek to continue to deal with Iran, they could find themselves subject to the US sanctions. Several companies that have deals with Iran, including Airbus and Boeing, may be unable to fulfil the deals they signed.

Mr Bolton was asked: “Is the US going to impose sanctions on European companies that continue to do business with Iran?”

He responded: “The answer is, it’s possible, it depends on the conduct of other governments.”

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