One of the architects of the US invasion of Iraq, John Bolton, has made a public appeal to President Donald Trump to scrap a controversial nuclear deal with Iran following years of tensions.
The former US ambassador to the United Nations has made public a plan for Washington to withdraw from an agreement that has seen Iran curb its nuclear ambitions in return for sanction relief.
Bolton said he was asked to draft the report by far-right former Trump aide Steve Bannon, who has been an ardent opponent of the deal.
With Bannon’s departure from the White House last week and the removal of other anti-Iran hawks – such as Sebastian Gorka – Bolton has decided to make the report public in a last ditch effort to reach the president.
“I offer the Iran non-paper now as a public service since staff changes at the White House have made presenting it to President Trump impossible,” Bolton wrote in the National Review.
“Although he was once kind enough to tell me ‘come in and see me any time’, those days are now over,” he added.
The proposed plan for a US departure from the nuclear deal – which was implemented by the US, Iran and several world powers in January 2016 – was published in the semi-monthly conservative National Review on Monday.
— John Bolton (@AmbJohnBolton) August 29, 2017
In it, Bolton sets out four steps to abrogate the nuclear deal: 1) quietly informing European and Arab allies of the decision to leave the agreement, 2) documenting alleged Iranian violations of the pact, 3) expanding a diplomatic campaign to support the announcement, 4) finally, use Congress and the state department to build support around the proposal.
“If the president is never to see this option, so be it,” Bolton wrote, “But let it never be said that the option didn’t exist.”
Bolton held no ministerial role in George W Bush’s administration during the 2003 invasion of Iraq, but he was said to be a key figure behind the scenes pushing the story that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction and it was necessary to topple him.
Although candidate Donald Trump repeatedly criticized Barack Obama’s Iran nuclear agreement, his administration has twice decided to remain in the deal. It so certified to Congress, most recently in…
The war devastated Iraq, with insecurity allowing for the proliferation of sectarian militias, one of which would eventually morph into the Islamic State group.
Despite his long absence from government, Bolton was tipped to be given a key role in Trump’s new administration.
When questioned in 2015 about who he turns to for advice on foreign affairs, the first name Trump mentioned was Bolton’s.
“He’s, you know, a tough cookie knows what he’s talking about,” Trump told Meet the Press in an interview.
Bolton was reportedly “in and out” of the Oval Office for a few weeks when Trump became president, and turned down an offer to serve as National Security Advisor HR McMaster’s deputy, eyeing the lead role.
Now with his Iran hawk allies out the White House, Bolton has been left in the cold.
“I requested a meeting with [Trump] and I was turned down,” Bolton told Politico.
Top photo: In this April 13, 2012 file photo, former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton speaks at the National Rifle Association convention in St. Louis. (AP/Michael Conroy)
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