On Wednesday from Abu Dhabi, National Security Advisor John Bolton commented on Iran backing out of the nuclear deal, "There’s no reason for them to do any of that unless that’s part of an effort to reduce the breakout time to produce nuclear weapons." The United States backed out of the nuclear deal over a year ago.
"This is just more graphic evidence that it hasn’t constrained their continuing desire to have nuclear weapons," Bolton added. "It certainly hasn’t reduced their terrorist activities in the region that we just discussed or their other malign behavior in their use of conventional forces."
Bolton also told reporters that Iran was "almost certainly" behind the sabotage attacks off the coast of the United Arab Emirates this month. "There’s no doubt in anybody’s mind in Washington who’s responsible for this," he said. "Who else would you think is doing it? Someone from Nepal?" Bolton offered no evidence that Iran was behind the attacks.
Bolton also mentioned the Houthis attack on a pipeline in Saudi Arabia, "We gathered evidence about the nature of attacks on the tankers and the East-West pipeline, and sent additional forces to act as a deterrent." Last week Trump confirmed 1,500 additional troops were being sent to the Middle East.
Abbas Mousavi, Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman responded to Bolton’s allegations, "Raising this ludicrous claim in a meeting of those with a long history of anti-Iran policies is not strange," he told Fars news agency, "Iran’s strategic patience, vigilance and defensive prowess will defuse mischievous plots made by Bolton and other warmongers."
Last Friday Pentagon officials also said Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) is to blame for the sabotaged ships, Rear Admiral Michael Gilday said, "The attack against the shipping in Fujairah we attribute it to the IRGC." There is no evidence linking the IRGC to the sabotaged ships.
Dave DeCamp is a freelance journalist based in Brooklyn NY, focusing on US Foreign policy and wars. He is on Twitter at @decampdave.