US Could Sanction European Countries Over Iran, Bolton says

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National Security Adviser John Bolton speaks on a morning television show from the grounds of the White House, on May 9, 2018 in Washington, DC.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Washington still wants to work with its European partners on an agreement to counter Iran's "malign behavior" Sunday despite its withdrawal from a landmark nuclear deal.

The most pressing was the question of how the United States intends to cooperate with the European countries which have not abolished the nuclear deal and continue to cooperate with Iran.

White House National Security Adviser John Bolton said it is possible the USA will impose sanctions on European companies that do business with Iran.

Asked whether or not European countries could face such sanctions, Bolton responded: "It's possible". Bolton, former ambassador to United Nations who has always defended hard line, merely noted that "it is possible" and that "depends on conduct of or governments", a very ambiguous words that only serve to clarify that hand lasts also with Allies not Discarded.

So far, China, France, Russia, the U.K., European Union and Iran remain in the accord, which placed controls on Iran's nuclear programme and led to a relaxation of American economic sanctions against Iran and companies doing business there.

The or five signatory powers - China, Russia, France, United Kingdom, and Germany - remain in that agreement while Washington reactivates sanctions machinery, opening question of wher U.S. will penalize European companies with business with Iran.

More news: Trump, Pence prepare for IN visit

But Pompeo said Washington was keen to thrash out a more wide-ranging deal with its allies as another top official said Iran had been "on the march" throughout the Middle East since the nuclear agreement was signed.

In a Fox News interview in January, Bolton said the United States should take steps such as increasing economic pressure on Iran and providing support to opponents of the government.

"The policy of the administration is to make sure that Iran never gets close to deliverable nuclear weapons", he added.

Bolton said Europe was still digesting the May 8 move by Trump.

German leader Angela Merkel also told Trump on a visit to Washington late last month that the nuclear deal was insufficient in itself to curb Iran's ambitions in the region. "He (Trump) makes the decisions and the advice I give him is between us".

"That's what we are going to do and I will be hard at it with the Europeans in the next several days", said the top U.S. diplomat.

"I think at the moment there's some feeling in Europe - they're really surprised we got out of it, really surprised at the reimposition of strict sanctions".

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