Speaking alongside his Israeli and Russian counterparts in Jerusalem, he added “all options remain on the table” if Iran exceeds the uranium enrichment limit under the 2015 deal.
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He remarked, however, that President Donald Trump is open to real negotiations and “all that Iran needs to do is walk through that open door”.
Asked whether a military strike was still an option if Iran crosses the 300-kilogram stockpile threshold outlined in the 2015 nuclear accord, Bolton replied it would be “a very serious mistake for Iran to ignore those limits.”
Iran had previously said it will possess over 300 kilograms of low-enriched uranium by Thursday, in violation of the deal.
Europe separately faces a July 7 deadline imposed by Tehran to offer a better deal or Iran will begin enriching its uranium closer to weapons-grade levels.
Bolton, a longtime Iran hawk, said it “should give up their pursuit of deliverable nuclear weapons.”
American envoys are surging across the region in hopes of finding a path out of escalating tensions between the US and Iran but that the silence of Tehran has been “deafening,” he added.
On Syria, Bolton said Washington “would very much like to get rid of foreign forces from Syria,” an apparent reference to Iranian forces there.
His Russian counterpart, Nikolai Patrushev, meanwhile, urged the United States and Israel to show “restraint” toward Iran.
Difference between the three officials soon emerged. Israel has long called for Iranian forces to be removed from its northern front and Bolton says the forces are “a problem in Syria.”
Patrushev responded by saying that Iran had fought against terrorists on Syria’s soil and was “stabilizing the situation” there.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who was present at the tripartite meeting, said Israel, the United States and Russia have a common objective to remove Iranian forces from Syria.
Doing so will “create a more stable Middle East,” he stated.
Iran and Russia have played a key role in backing Syrian regime leader Bashar Assad and helping him overcome opposition factions in his country’s civil war. Netanyahu has long warned that Iran now looks to leverage that influence into establishing a military foothold along Israel’s northern front.
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