Iran denounces Trump’s new hard-line staffers

Bringing in John Bolton and Mike Pompeo show the US is planning to overthrow the Islamic Republic, official says.

John Bolton
Former US ambassador to the UN John Bolton speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference in February 2017 [Alex Brandon/AP]

An Iranian official has called the appointment of two hardliners in President Donald Trump’s administration evidence that the United States is planning to overthrow the country.

The naming of John Bolton to the role of National Security Adviser was shameful, Iranian media quoted an official as saying on Sunday, citing his involvement with an opposition group once named a “terrorist” organisation.

Bolton advocates regime change in Iran and is opposed to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

Hossein Naghavi Hosseini, spokesman for the influential parliamentary committee on national security and foreign policy, told the semi-official ISNA news agency that Bolton’s appointment – as well as that of former CIA chief Mike Pompeo as US secretary of state – “proves that the final US purpose is overthrowing the Islamic Republic [of Iran]”.

‘Matter of shame’

The semi-official Fars news agency quoted Ali Shamkhani, secretary of the country’s Supreme National Security Council, as saying for an “apparent superpower it is a matter of shame that its national security adviser receives wages from a terrorist group”, referring to Bolton attending a gathering of the Iranian opposition group Mujahedeen-e-Khalq (MEK) in 2017.

Hosseini said the US will use MEK to try and topple the Iranian government. The US removed MEK from its list of “foreign terrorist organisations” in 2012.

Shamkhani added attempts by the US to weaken Iran have only “laid the groundwork for improving the power and influence” of Iran.

Trump said on Thursday he would appoint Bolton to the national security adviser post as his administration faces a key decision on whether to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal.

Source: Al Jazeera