Washington, DC – Trita Parsi, President of the National Iranian American Council, issued the following statement regarding the appointment of John Bolton as National Security Advisor:
“Donald Trump may have just effectively declared war on Iran. With the appointment of John Bolton, and nomination of Mike Pompeo at State, Trump is clearly putting together a war cabinet. As the world awaits Trump’s May 12 decision as to whether he will abandon the Iran nuclear deal, all of the signs now point to a decision to move to war footing.
“Bolton is an unhinged advocate for waging World War III. He has explicitly called for bombing Iran for the past ten years and has suggested the U.S. engage in nuclear first strikes in North Korea. Bolton’s first order of business will be to convince Trump to exit the Iran nuclear deal and lay the groundwork for the war he has urged over the past decade. Additionally, he has has called for ending all visas for Iranians, shipping bunker busting weapons to Israel, and supporting the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK) terrorist organization and other separatist groups inside of Iran. The Iranian-American community and our pro-peace, pro-human rights allies will organize to stop Bolton’s plans from becoming a reality.
“Congress must do everything in its power to convince Trump to reconsider this decision and exert maximal pressure to constrain Bolton’s ability to impose irreparable harm to the U.S. and global security. To begin with, the Senate must block Mike Pompeo from becoming Secretary of State.
“Bolton now represents the greatest threat to the United States. This is a dangerous time for our country and a slap in the face even to Trump’s supporters who thought he would break from waging disastrous foreign wars and military occupations.“Bolton was a key player in the march to the disastrous war in Iraq that Trump has criticized as a major foreign policy blunder. He famously demonstrated that he was a ‘kiss-up, kick-down sorta guy’ who dismissed intelligence on Iraq’s WMD program that didn’t fit his predetermined policy preference. The fact that one of Trump’s key advisers is likely to stroke the President’s ego while blocking key intelligence or intimidating any objective analysts that might be underneath him is of deep concern. Of further concern, Bolton fails to acknowledge that the Iraq war was a mistake and only regrets that the Bush administration didn’t overthrow more countries while it was in office.
“Bolton’s ties to the cultish MEK should also immediately disqualify him. Bolton routinely meets with and accepts payments from the group – which has murdered Iranians and American service members alike and is deeply unpopular among ordinary Iranians. Yet, Bolton sees this illegitimate group that commits human rights abuses against its own members as a ‘viable opposition’ that he wants to use to overthrow the Iranian government. Bolton promised an MEK crowd last July, before 2019, we here will celebrate in Tehran!’”