John Bolton: Iran Tops List of Challenges Facing US

No indication N Korea nuclear activities stopped IAEA

Iran's nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs are at "the top of the list", U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton said Sunday after arriving in Israel, where he plans to holds talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, right, shakes hands with US national security adviser John Bolton during their meeting at the Prime Minister's office in Jerusalem, Monday, Aug. 20, 2018.

Netanyahu strongly urged Trump to withdraw from the nuclear deal between Israel's main enemy Iran and world powers, and the USA president did so in May, resulting in the reimposition of sanctions.

In a short joint media facility at the prime minister's Jerusalem residence, Mr. Netanyahu said "rolling back Iran's aggression" in the Middle East is a combined aim of the two allies.

Bolton replied, "Well, I can say definitively that it's a sufficient national security concern about Chinese meddling, Iranian meddling, and North Korean meddling that we're taking steps to try to prevent it".

Israel and the United States have been closely aligned on their approach to Iran since Trump took office.

He argued that Trump's withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal and his reimposing of sanctions had "put a real crimp into the Iranian economy" and affected Tehran's ability to "conduct offensive operations" in the region.

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Since a June summit with U.S. President Donald Trump in Singapore - where Kim lauded the city-state's economic progress and "world-class" amenities - North Korea's authoritarian leader has been on a blitz of visits to various industrial sites and factories, often criticising sluggish development.

While the threat of election interference by Russian Federation is well-known, President Donald Trump has said on multiple occasions that other foreign powers also are attempting to meddle in America's political affairs.

Israel has also lauded Trump's withdrawal from the nuclear deal between Iran and world powers.

Bolton's visit in Israel marks the first stop on his trip overseas.

Months of tension along the Gaza border have led to fears of a fourth war between Israel and Hamas since 2008.

Despite the closure, the past week has been notably calmer along the Gaza border.


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