Iran says Bolton pick as national security adviser 'matter of shame'

Former US Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton on 27 February 2015

Former US Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton on 27 February 2015

This deliberate arbitrariness will have major implications for USA foreign policy.

The report by the semi-official Fars news agency quoted Ali Shamkhani, secretary of the country's Supreme National Security Council, as saying for an "apparent superpower it is a matter of shame that its national security adviser receives wages from a terrorist group", referring to Bolton attending a gathering of the Iranian opposition group Mujahedeen-e-Khalq (MEK) group in 2017.

"Let's have this conversation by May, or even before that, and let's see how serious North Korea really is", Bolton said, according to a transcript of his remarks posted on the RFA website on Friday.

Sputnik: And finally, couple with soon-to-be Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, what direction do you see U.S. foreign policy generally going in, ideologically speaking, under this duo? This will no doubt cause difficulties for Washington's Arab allies, especially Egypt and Saudi Arabia, because the new team in Washington may seek to impose decisions, rather than coax agreements. Bolton has also advocated taking a strongly adversarial position toward Iran.

Trump won't care what former Obama advisers and NY editorial writers say about Bolton and Pompeo, but at first glance their policy views appear to contradict many of his own.

He has shown similar disdain for other multilateral institutions, including the International Criminal Court.

Trump has admired Bolton for years, praising him on Twitter as far back as 2014. For all three it is "America First". This work and those achievements will ensure that America builds on its economic and military advantages. Should the new Secretary of State Mike Pompeo not toe this line, he could also face the sack.

McMaster was Trump's second national security adviser after Michael Flynn was dismissed a year ago for misleading Vice President Mike Pence about his contacts with the Russian ambassador to the US.

But not all of Mr Bolton's views coincide with those of the President.

Just last week, it had appeared McMaster's departure was imminent — but White House officials insisted the speculation was false.

Its main qualities are isolationism and exclusion. His views on Taiwan are in line with the Trump administration's questioning of the "One China policy" and steps towards forging closer ties with Taiwan-moves that would gravely undermine relations between the U.S. and China and greatly heighten the danger of conflict. This makes him very risky and adds risk for those hoping to cultivate a special relationship with him. And Trump has been known to overrule even the consensus of his aides in the past. Inflaming the Sunni-Shia conflict requires sustaining wars where Iran is involved, from Syria and Yemen to Iraq and Lebanon.

Writing in the Wall Street Journal in 2016, Bolton called on the United States to play the "Taiwan card" by upgrading official ties with the island that China regards as an integral part of its territory. He will faithfully pursue the agenda against Iran and its associates with lethal sanctions and attrition.

But he shares Donald Trump's views on the 2015 deal to rein in Iran's nuclear ambitions. Trump grew frustrated by what he considered to be stalling on the part of the more moderate forces in his administration who opposed his calls for more protectionist trade policies.

A source close to Bolton cautioned that any staffing changes would take time, given the need to process security clearances.

In an interview with CNA, Young said the US government will try to have "more frequent visits and higher level visits" following the passage of the Taiwan Travel Act, which encourages USA and Taiwan officials of all levels to visit each other.

Not only will he influence U.S. policy in Syria and Iraq, but more immediately and more worryingly, his appointment signals a much tougher USA stance against Iran and North Korea.

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