Bolton: 'I Think Iran Is Bringing Us Closer to War' With Its Belligerent Activity

May 9, 2018

National Security Adviser John Bolton said on Wednesday that he thinks Iran is bringing the world closer to war with the placement of its missiles in Syria and the movement of its forces.

"I think Iran is bringing us closer to war with its belligerent activity in Iraq and Syria ... It's that aggressive militaristic behavior by Iran on the ground in the region that's the real threat, " Bolton said on "CBS This Morning."

President Donald Trump announced that the United States would withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), often referred to as the Iran nuclear deal. Iranian leaders threatened harsh reprisals against the United States following Trump's decision to abandon the nuclear deal and reimpose a series of harsh sanctions on Tehran.

Trump said during his address on Tuesday that the nuclear accord, which the Obama administration and five other world powers struck with Iran in 2015, does not protect the U.S. and its allies from Iran developing a nuclear-weapons capability.

Bolton was asked if there was a "plan b" to handle Iran's nuclear program.

"I think plan 'b' is already being implemented," Bolton said. "When the president signed the decision memorandum yesterday, he began the process of putting very strict U.S. sanctions back in effect. That will have a significant ripple effect on Iran's economy."

European allies lobbied Trump to remain in the deal. French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted that while France, Germany, and the U.K. regret Trump's decision, they are ready to "work collectively on a broader framework, covering nuclear activity, the post-2025 period, ballistic activity, and stability in the Middle-East, notably Syria, Yemen, and Iraq."

Bolton said the U.S. will continue to work with European allies in trying to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.

"Well, we're going to try to work with the Europeans. We have an absolutely shared common objective, which is to prevent Iran from getting deliverable nuclear weapons," Bolton said. "We have a disagreement over the efficacy of the Iran deal, and that's the reason President Trump exited from it."