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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 October 2018

John Bolton and Mike Pompeo warn Europeans over evading Iran sanctions

National Security Adviser John Bolton threatened “there will be hell to pay” if Iran attacks US or its allies

Mr Bolton told the UANI that “we do not intend for our sanctions to be evaded by Europe or anybody else”. REUTERS
Mr Bolton told the UANI that “we do not intend for our sanctions to be evaded by Europe or anybody else”. REUTERS

Shortly after US President Donald Trump promised to intensify economic pressure on Iran, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Adviser John Bolton went in hard, calling Tehran an “outlaw regime”.

Speaking at a conference hosted by United Against Nuclear Iran in New York, Mr Pompeo said the Iranian regime had not lived with other nations in peace.

He spoke of attacks that Tehran had carried out or tried to perpetrate in Europe, Latin America and the Middle East.

“The Iranian regime is more concerned with heavy water than drinking water,” Mr Pompeo said.

He estimated that Tehran provided more than $100 million each year to terror groups including Hamas. He called Iran one of the “worst violators of the UN Charter and UN Security Council Resolutions”.

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The State Department’s new Iran Action Group has released a 48-page report that chronicles the country’s destabilising activities around the world.

But amid reports that the European Union, Russia and China have agreed on a “special purpose vehicle” that would allow countries to deal with Iran while avoiding US sanctions, Mr Pompeo opened fire on the Europeans.

“Unfortunately, just last night I was disturbed and deeply disappointed to hear remaining parties in the Iran [nuclear] deal announce they are setting up a special payment system to bypass US sanctions,” he said.

“This is one of the most counter-productive measures imaginable for regional global peace and security.

“By sustaining revenues to the regime you are solidifying Iran’s ranking as the number one state sponsor of terror.”

Mr Bolton echoed the message in his speech.

“We do not intend for our sanctions to be evaded by Europe or anybody else,” he said.

But he also ridiculed the EU as “strong on rhetoric, weak on follow-through”, and said “there will be hell to pay” if Iran attacks the US or its allies.

“According to the mullahs in Tehran, we are lord of the underworld, master of the raging inferno,” Mr Bolton said.

“If you cross us, our allies, or our partners; if you harm our citizens. If you continue to lie, cheat and deceive; yes, there will indeed be hell to pay.

“Let my message today be very clear: We are watching and we will come after you.”

Three protesters, one with a sign that read “Peace with Iran”, interrupted Mr Pompeo’s speech and were ejected from the room.