Bolton: Sanctions, other pressure will bring Iran to bargaining table

President TrumpDonald John TrumpNew EPA rule would expand Trump officials’ powers to reject FOIA requests Democratic senator introduces bill to ban gun silencers Democrats: Ex-Commerce aide said Ross asked him to examine adding census citizenship question MORE‘s national security adviser, John BoltonJohn Robert BoltonBolton presses Iran to withdraw forces from Syria, areas of conflict Bolton: Sanctions, other pressure will bring Iran to bargaining table Overnight Defense: Trump says he doesn’t need Congress to approve Iran strikes in interview with The Hill | New sanctions hit Iran’s supreme leader | Schumer seeks to delay defense bill amid Iran tensions | Esper’s first day as acting Pentagon chief MORE, said Tuesday that new U.S. sanctions and other pressure is likely to bring Iran to the negotiating table. 

“They’ll either get the point or … we will simply enhance the maximum pressure campaign further,” he told reporters in Jerusalem after meeting with Russian and Israeli officials, according to Reuters. “It will be, I think, the combination of sanctions and other pressure that does bring Iran to the table.”

U.S. disarmament ambassador Robert Wood also said Tuesday that the U.S. does not plan to initiate a conflict against Iran, the news service reported. 

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“We will not initiate a conflict against Iran, nor do we intend to deny Iran the right to defend its airspace but if Iran continues to attack us, our response will be decisive,” he said at the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva. 

An Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman, however, tweeted Tuesday that the sanctions imposed by Trump through an executive order on Monday are “the permanent closure of the path of diplomacy.”

“Imposing useless sanctions on Iran’s Supreme Leader and the commander of Iran’s diplomacy is the permanent closure of the path of diplomacy,” tweeted Abbas Mousavi. 

Trump on Monday signed an executive order imposing sanctions on Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and other officials. His administration is expected to sanction Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif later this week. 

Tensions between Tehran and Washington have mounted in recent weeks.

Last week, Iran shot down a U.S. drone. Trump responded by saying on Twitter that the U.S. had prepared a military strike against the country, but that he called it off when he learned how many people could die. He later added that he ordered the strike not to go forward “at this time.”

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