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Trump not in control of Iran policy, should perhaps fire Bolton – EU foreign policy chief’s adviser
US President Donald Trump does not appear to be in control of his own administration’s Iran policy and he should fire national security adviser John Bolton, special adviser to EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini told RT.

In an interview with RT’s Sophie Shevarnadze, Nathalie Tocci said Trump has “been led into a very different direction” than the one he might otherwise have gone in without input from Bolton.

Asked why she didn't trust Trump's claims that he does not want regime change in Iran, Tocci said Bolton clearly has a different position – and he seems to be the one writing the administration’s policy on Tehran.

Unfortunately at the moment it seems to me that the US’s Iran policy has a very clear author and that author is not the president of the United States.

Tocci noted that Bolton’s enthusiasm for regime change in Iran dates back “way further” than Trump, to “the Bush administration and even earlier.”

“Perhaps [Trump] should try and change his national security adviser that very clearly has a very different position on this one,” she said.

Tocci also said that she understands Iran's threats to breach the 2015 nuclear deal in light of heightening tensions with the US. Last week, the US accused Tehran of attacking two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman, but provided no strong evidence to back up the accusation.

“If I were Iran I would probably not stick with the JCPOA because indeed, as I said, the social contract can only hold if both sides live up to the bargain,” she said.

Could John Bolton soon be SACKED? Will it avert Iran war? Former CIA agent Kiriakou positive on both
Hawkish National Security Advisor John Bolton has steered the Trump administration towards multiple conflicts. However, CIA whistleblower John Kiriakou tells RT he’s learned that Bolton’s days in the White House may be numbered.

Since joining the Trump administration in April of last year, Bolton has taken the hardest line possible on every geopolitical flare-up. From advocating “humanitarian intervention” in Venezuela, to briefing journalists about a plan to deploy 100,000 troops to the Middle East, to rumors of him “sabotaging” Trump’s summit with North Korea’s Kim Jong-un last year, Bolton has trumpeted escalation and confrontation as a panacea to all of America’s foreign policy ills.

Now, former CIA agent Kiriakou writes, Bolton is falling out of President Trump’s favor. In the happy-hour bars of Washington DC, Kiriakou’s contacts within the Trump administration tell him a reckoning is coming, and Bolton’s head is next on the chopping block.

Bolton’s departure is “definitely not a done deal,” Kiriakou stressed, when contacted by RT. But in conversations with “mid-level” national security officials, he has learned that Bolton’s firing is being talked about. Concerned for his legacy, Trump is apparently willing to fire Bolton rather than get dragged into a reputation-tarnishing war, just over a year out from the 2020 election.

Trump himself has signaled in public that he sometimes disagrees with Bolton’s hawkish tendencies. With military confrontation with Iran and Venezuela on the cards last month, Trump described himself as “the one who tempers him, which is okay.” Days beforehand, Trump had expressed frustration that Bolton was trying to get him “into a war,” according to the Washington Post’s sources, at least.

The dissonance between Trump and Bolton’s world views can be seen in their response to the recent tension with Iran. According to Kiriakou:

We can't allow ourselves to believe that Donald Trump is in some way ‘pro-Iran.’ But John Bolton is actively seeking war with Iran. And this is something that Trump has been very clear about not wanting.

Just a week ago, Trump stated that he was open to a sit-down with Iran’s leadership “without preconditions,” directly contradicting Bolton’s long history of advocating pre-emptive strikes on the Islamic Republic. A flow of leaks to the press indicate an unease in the White House too, with an anonymous Pentagon official telling the New Yorker that Trump is “souring” on Bolton, and another telling the Washington Post that Trump is angry with Bolton and “not comfortable with all this regime-change talk.”

However, whether Trump will remain cool towards Iran in light of Thursday’s oil tanker attacks remains to be seen.

Trump has also recently contradicted Bolton on North Korea, telling reporters that Kim Jong-un has “kept his word” on halting nuclear and missile testing. Hours earlier, Bolton had argued the exact opposite.

Of course, Bolton is far from the only hardliner in the Trump administration. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has pushed an equally hard line on Iran, and was quick to blame Tehran for Thursday’s attacks, reading out a litany of accusations against Iran at a press conference that day.

“Mike Pompeo is at least as much of a hawk, especially on Iran,” said Kiriakou. “But Bolton’s departure would isolate Pompeo. And one of the things that most observers are not paying attention to is the fact that most Republicans in Congress do NOT want to go to war with Iran.”

Nor do Americans have the appetite for further foreign wars. Withdrawing from the decades-long conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan were key campaign promises of Trump, and another foreign misadventure “would be a disaster that the US can ill afford,” the CIA whistleblower believes.

If the whispers are true, Kiriakou has heard several names mentioned as potential replacements, among them “several retired military officers and former intelligence officials.” None of them, he added, are “household names.”

Those expecting a complete reversal in the Trump administration’s foreign policy with Bolton out of the scene might want to keep holding their breath, however. “I don't think we would see major changes in Trump's foreign policy if Bolton leaves,” Kiriakou concluded. “Other than the fact that we would be far less likely to seek a fight against Iran.”

Report: Trump Considering Replacing Bolton
TEHRAN (FNA)- US President Donald Trump is considering replacing his hawkish National Security Adviser John Bolton over his plans to push the United States towards a military conflict with Iran, Venezuela and North Korea, according to a report.

Bolton “is headed for the exits, having flown too close to the sun on his regime change efforts for Iran, Venezuela and North Korea”, The National Interest reported on Tuesday, citing sources familiar with the matter.

“Hearing that Trump wants him out,” a former senior Trump administration official told the magazine.

There is speculation in Washington “that there’s now daylight between Trump and Bolton”, the report added.

The fighting has also expanded to include US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, according to officials. A State Department official and a former White House official both report that Bolton and Pompeo are “fighting all the time”.

A former senior official in the State Department noted that Pompeo is enthusiastic about isolating Iran, but fearful of an actual war that might engulf much of the Middle East.

“John Bolton is the problem … Trump’s national security adviser is getting dangerous...particularly to the president’s ideals,” Douglas Macgregor, a Bolton rival and would-be successor, writes in Spectator USA.

The United States has been ratcheting up economic and military pressure on Iran, with Trump recently urging Tehran to talk to him.

"What I’d like to see with Iran, I’d like to see them call me," Trump told reporters at the White House on Thursday.

But then he stated that he would not rule out the possibility of military action in Iran amid escalating tensions before slamming former secretary of state John Kerry for his involvement in the issue.

His remarks came after Bolton said on Sunday that the United States was sending an aircraft carrier strike group and a bomber task force to the Middle East in a "clear and unmistakable" message to Iran.

The Pentagon announced on Friday that the US was deploying an amphibious assault ship and a Patriot missile battery to bolster an aircraft carrier and B-52 bombers already sent to the Persian Gulf.

posted by ZUKUNASHI at 22:01| Comment(0) | 国際・政治
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