Bolton in Mideast: Iran one of four powers taking aim at U.S. elections

Special to WorldTribune.com

By Geostrategy-Direct

U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal has put a “real crimp” into Teheran’s economy, said national security adviser John Bolton, and the Islamic Republic may try to retaliate by meddling in the U.S. midterm elections.

Iran, Russia, China and North Korea are the four countries the U.S. is most concerned about interfering in the November midterms, Bolton, speaking from Jerusalem, told ABC’s “This Week” on Aug. 19.

U.S. national security adviser John Bolton meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem on Aug. 20. / Reuters

He also made a point of claiming Putin’s support for the U.S. and Israeli position that Iran forces should be withdrawn from Syria.

Bolton added that while he couldn’t discuss specifically which cybersecurity measures the government was taking, these actions include “both defensive and offensive cyber operations to protect the integrity of the election process.”

Bolton, who met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer and U.S. Ambassador David Friedman, told ABC the Trump administration is taking steps to try and prevent meddling from each of those countries, though he did not go into specifics.

About Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal, Bolton said, “I think they’re feeling it and their capability for the Quds Force or the Revolutionary Guards to conduct offensive operations [has been reduced].”

Iran’s military operations in the region are “part of the problem with the Iranian regime generally and why it’s such a threat to peace and security, not just because of its nuclear program, but because of its military operations and its support for terrorism,” Bolton said.

Bolton also said that Russian President Vladimir Putin supports the “objective” of the U.S. and Israel to remove all Iranian forces and Iranian-backed militias from Syria.

“The objective of the United States, of Israel – President Putin said it was Russia’s objective – is to get Iran, Iranian forces, Iranian militias, Iranian surrogates out of the offensive operations they’re in in both Syria and Iraq, and, frankly, to end Iran’s support for Hizbullah,” Bolton said.

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