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John Bolton: Trump Sanctions On European Companies "Possible" Over Iran

14 May 2018

Part of the flaw with the Iran deal that President Donald Trump rejected was it enticed Europe and the US into economic relations with Iran that would work against holding the country accountable for violations of the agreement, Bolton said.

If the deal collapses completely, worldwide monitoring of Iran's nuclear facilities and restrictions placed on the country's nuclear program could end, while sanctions demanded by the USA on the Iranian oil industry and other sectors could be reimposed.

Speaking in an interview with CNN's State of the Union on Sunday, Bolton did not rule out sanctioning European entities trading with Iran several days after President Donald Trump pulled the US out of the Iran nuclear deal.

And regardless of Bolton's tough line on potential sanctions, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo suggested there was hope for a new nuclear deal with Iran that could "protect the world". "Because of our technology licenses to many other countries and businesses around the world, as those sanctions kick in, it will have an even broader effect as well".

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Recall that the United States withdrawal from the agreement with Iran was an unpleasant surprise for the European allies of Washington, provoking instability in the oil market and strengthen the threat of war in the middle East.

"I am hopeful in the days and weeks ahead we can come up with a deal that really works, that really protects the world from Iranian bad behavior", Pompeo said on "Fox News Sunday".

"And I will work closely with the Europeans to try and achieve that". But in an interview aired on the ABC programme "This Week", Bolton said, "That's not the policy of the administration".

"They were shifting the balance of power in the Middle East until President Trump got out of this deal".

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Donald Trump announced on Tuesday that he was leaving agreement sponsored by Barack Obama for lifting of sanctions on Iran in exchange for regime's stopping its nuclear career for a decade and accepting controls on it.

"It's possible. Depends on what kind of policy will hold governments of other countries", Bolton said may 13 in an interview with the program State of the Union coming on CNN. Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China are still signed on to the deal.

But allies' increasing skepticism of any commitments by Trump and the way the weakening of the deal helps hard-liners in the Iranian government make it hard to imagine successful negotiations. Iranian exports to Europe quadrupled in 2016, year after agreement, and on contrary many European companies, such as Airbus aircraft manufacturer Consortium, are bringing juice to Iran.

As to the idea of whether or not Iran felt less constrained now that the Trump administration pulled out of the Iran Deal, Pompeo had a concise answer: "That's ludicrous".

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John Bolton: Trump Sanctions On European Companies