Bolton: Iran has never abandoned Idea of acquiring nuclear capability

ATLANTA – (WARSOOR) – John Bolton, former US President Donald Trump’s national security advisor, said on Wednesday that while a return to the Iran nuclear deal appears to be a priority for the Biden administration, he doubts the sincerity of Tehran’s promises not to pursue the development of nuclear weapons.

In an exclusive interview with Arab News he said he supports the inclusion of Arab Gulf states in any negotiations relating to Iran’s nuclear program, describing it as a “positive idea.”

He also stressed that while he is not calling for regime change in Tehran that involves foreign military intervention, he believes that an internal “popular opposition” will eventually topple the regime.

During a discussion that covered a range of issues that affect the Middle East, Bolton said he is not opposed in principle to the idea of US President Joe Biden re-engaging with Iran. He pointed out that Biden, during his time as vice president under Barack Obama, played an important role in the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, so it is not surprising that a return to it is on the agenda. However he warned that Tehran remains determined to develop nuclear capability.

“I don’t think the Iranian regime has ever made a strategic decision to give up the pursuit of nuclear weapons,” he said.

Bolton said that Arab Gulf states have the right to be included when the international community enters into fresh negotiations with Iran, given their proximity to the country and the regime’s aggressive activities in the region.

Distancing himself from previous comments in which he suggested that international military intervention should be on the table, Bolton said he now believes that change in Iran will most likely come from within in the form of an internal civilian and military uprising.

He said that the popularity of the regime among Iranians is at its lowest point because of its mismanagement of the economy the crippling sanctions imposed by the Trump administration.


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