JERUSALEM – US National Security Adviser John Bolton said Sunday in Jerusalem that Iran should not consider US abrupt cancellation of a military attack as “weakness”.
Speaking ahead of a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Bolton said that “neither Iran nor any other hostile actor should mistake US prudence and discretion for weakness”.
“No one has granted them a hunting license in the Middle East,” he said in joint remarks alongside Netanyahu.
He reiterated US President Donald Trump, saying Iran will “never” be allowed to acquire a nuclear weapon and that the US military “is rebuilt, new and ready to go”.
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His remarks came after Trump called off a military strike against Iran after the latter shoot down a US military drone.
Netanyahu thanked Bolton and said his visit is “an opportunity to strengthen” even further the close alliance between Israel and the US.
He praised Trump’s nuclear-related sanctions on Iran. “The supporters of the Iran deal argued that the infusion of massive cash into Iran’s economy would moderate Iran… And in fact, the opposite has happened,” he said.
“We in Israel saw Iran’s aggression in their increased efforts to establish Iranian military bases in Syria, in their increased efforts to provide sophisticated weapons to Hezbollah, in their increased financial support for terror proxies like Hezbollah, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad,” he said.
Bolton has arrived in Israel for a four-day visit during which a triple Israeli-Russian-US security meeting will be held. On Monday, Bolton, Israel’s National Security Adviser Meir Ben-Shabba, and Russia’s Secretary of the Security Council Nikolay Patrushev will meet in Jerusalem and on Tuesday the three will hold a joint meeting with Netanyahu.
The meetings focus on the future of these countries’ operations in Syria and are held amidst spiraling tensions in the Gulf.
Israel considers Iran its arch-enemy.
Netanyahu has been a vocal opponent of the nuclear deal signed in 2015 between Iran and the world powers, and welcomed Trump’s sanctions on the Islamic republic.