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John Bolton says European countries that still deal with Iran may face US sanctions

John Bolton (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

The U.S. may put sanctions on European countries and companies that continue to do business with Iran after President Trump pulled out of the Iranian nuclear deal, Trump’s national security adviser said Sunday.

“Countries that continue to deal with Iran could face U.S. sanctions,” National Security Adviser John Bolton said on ABC’s “This Week.”

“Why would any business, why would the shareholders of any business want to do business with the world’s central banker of international terrorism?”

Trump announced Tuesday he was pulling out of the deal, a joint agreement between Iran, the United States, European nations, Russia and China, to end the development of nuclear weapons in exchange for relief from economic sanctions.

American sanctions against Tehran will now return, and Bolton said that would effectively prevent many European companies from doing business there.

“Europeans are going to face the effective U.S. sanctions, (they) already are really, because much of what they would like to sell to Iran involves U.S. technology, for which the licenses will not be available,” he said.

France, Britain and Germany have said they still want to preserve the deal, but Bolton insisted they would eventually change their minds.

“I think the Europeans will see that it’s in their interest ultimately to go along with this,” he said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

Major European firms have been doing business in Iran since sanctions were lifted under the 2015 deal. Airbus, based in France, has been selling jets to an Iranian airline, and Germany’s Volkswagen has been exporting cars to Iran.

Trump said the nuclear agreement was flawed, without enough verification of the dismantling of the nuclear program and provisions that would eventually expire.

But the U.S. cited no evidence that Iran had violated the accord, and European nations and international inspectors say they were in compliance.

“The inspectors don’t know everything. I mean, you can’t say honestly that Iran didn’t violate the deal because we don’t have adequate inspections,” Bolton told “This Week.”

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Sunday that if his country’s interests are protected, Tehran will continue to adhere to the deal.

“If the remaining five countries continue to abide by the agreement, Iran will remain in the deal despite the will of America,” he said, according to Reuters, while slamming Trump’s move as a “violation of morals.”

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Sunday that Iran had used money they were able to make under the deal to finance military activity in the region.

“The Iranian wealth creation fueled their malign behavior. The money that they had to go and launch missiles into Riyadh (in Saudi Arabia) and Israel, putting Americans at risk, was provided by the economic benefits they got,” he said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.

“President Trump wants to starve them of that wealth.”


© 2018 New York Daily News

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