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More US sanctions on Iran likely, National Security Adviser John Bolton warns

National Security Adviser John Bolton during remarks [Getty]

Date of publication: 9 November, 2018

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The ultra-hawk US national security adviser made the comments just days after a second set of US sanctions, targeting Iran's oil sector, came into force.
US National Security Advisor John Bolton said that more Iran sanctions were possible just days after boasting that the latest set economic penalties on Tehran, were the most punishing ever.

Bolton said two rounds of unilateral US sanctions introduced by President Donald Trump in August and most recently on Monday had had a "quite significant" effect on the Iranian economy and the country's actions abroad.

"I think that you're going to see even more sanctions coming into play over time and much tighter enforcement of the sanctions," Bolton told reporters in Paris.

Asked what would be the target of the sanctions, he replied, "there are other things we can do in the terrorism and counter-terrorism area".

The IMF forecasts that the sanctions will cause Iran's economy to contract 1.5 percent this year and 3.6 percent next year - pain that Trump has boasted about.

"We've seen indications that it has affected their belligerent activity in Iraq, Syria and Yemen. Not enough yet, but it's beginning to have that effect," Bolton said.

"We've seen a continuation and exacerbation of political discontent inside Iran. That opposition continues to manifest itself. Economically the Iranian currency is going through the floor, inflation has quadrupled and the country is clearly in recession."

He said "the objective is still to drive Iranians exports of oil to zero" despite waivers given to the biggest buyers of Iranian oil, including China, India and South Korea. 

Bolton is widely considered to be an ultra-hawk within the Trump administration and had previously called for regime change in Tehran. 

The landmark 2015 Iran nuclear deal struck under Trump's predecessor Barack Obama saw Tehran agree to freeze its nuclear programme in return for the lifting of punishing international sanctions.

It was a breakthrough that ended a 12-year stand-off between Iran and the West, following concerns Tehran was developing a nuclear bomb.

The UN's nuclear watchdog has confirmed that Iran is implementing "nuclear-related commitments" under its deal with world powers despite Washington pulling out of the landmark accord. 


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