YEREVAN (RFE/RL) — US national-security adviser John Bolton has vowed that President Donald Trump’s administration will “squeeze Iran” with maximum economic pressure in response to Tehran’s “malign” behavior in the Middle East and around the world.
Bolton made the remarks in an interview with RFE/RL on October 25 after he met in Yerevan with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan.
“As I explained to the prime minister, we want to put maximum pressure on Iran because it has not given up the pursuit of nuclear weapons,” Bolton told RFE/RL’s Armenian Service. “It remains the world’s central banker of international terrorism. And we’re concerned about its ballistic-missile programs and its active conventional military operations in Syria and Iraq and elsewhere.”
Bolton said Washington doesn’t want to “cause damage to our friends in the process” of expanding sanctions against Iran, which shares a border with Armenia.
He said that’s why he “stressed” to Pashinyan, in advance, that the Trump administration is “going to enforce these sanctions very vigorously” and that the Armenian-Iranian border is “going to be a significant issue.”
“We are going to squeeze Iran because we think their behavior in the Middle East and, really globally, is malign and needs to be changed,” Bolton said.