Iran on Sunday called the appointment of John Bolton as National Security Advisor of the United States a “shame.”
Fars news agency quoted Ali Shamkhani, secretary of the country’s Supreme National Security Council, as having said that for an “apparent superpower, it is a matter of shame that its national security advisor receives wages from a terrorist group,” Fox News reported.
Shamkhani referred to Bolton’s presence at a gathering of the Iranian opposition group Mujahedeen-e-Khalq (MEK) in 2017. The opposition group was removed from the U.S. list of foreign terrorist organizations in 2012.
Bolton will be the third national security advisor to serve President Donald Trump following the removals of Gen. Michael Flynn and Gen. H.R. McMaster.
An Iranian expert said the appointment of Bolton and the appointment of CIA Director Mike Pompeo to Secretary of State are signals that a main priority of the Trump Administration is to get rid of the Iran nuclear deal.
Both Pompeo and Bolton have been advocates of ending the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.
Iranian parliament spokesman Hossein Naghavi Hosseini told the semi-official ISNA news agency that Bolton’s and Pompeo’s appointments “prove that the final U.S. purpose is overthrowing the Islamic Republic [of Iran].”
President Trump on Thursday announced on Twitter that former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton will replace Gen. H.R. McMaster as the National Security Adviser.
Bolton will officially assume the role on April 9, Trump tweeted.
“I am pleased to announce that, effective 4/9/18, [John Bolton] will be my new National Security Advisor. I am very thankful for the service of General H.R. McMaster, who has done an outstanding job and will always remain my friend. There will be an official contact handover on 4/9.”
Analysts believe that Trump is keen on filling out his revamped national security team prior to meeting with North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Un.
McMaster “mutually agreed” with the White House that he would resign from the position.
“After thirty-four years of service to our nation, I am requesting retirement from the U.S. Army effective this summer after which I will leave public service. Throughout my career it has been my greatest privilege top serve alongside extraordinary servicemembers and dedicated civilians,” McMaster said.
“I am thankful to President Donald J. Trump for the opportunity to serve him and our nation as national security adviser. I am grateful for the friendship and support of the members of the National Security Council who worked together to provide the President with the best options to protect and advance our national interests,” McMaster added.
Bolton, who is a frequent contributor on Fox News, has met with President Trump repeatedly since he took office.
Bolton served as U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations from 2005 to 2006. He also served as Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security from 2001 to 2005.
Bolton, who is 69, has advocated for military action to be taken against Iran and North Korea. He is popular with hard-line conservatives for his tough and hawkish foreign policy. Bolton was one of the leading advocates for the 2003 invasion of Iraq.