Last Tuesday, Donald Trump announced that the United States intended to violate the treaty surrounding Iran’s development of nuclear weapons. Despite the lack of evidence that Iran had violated the agreement, despite the urging of other signatories to the agreement, and despite the fact there is, in fact, no means for withdrawing from the agreement while Iran is in compliance, Donald Trump simply made it clear that the good faith and credit of the United States is now worth exactly as much as his momentary whim. Or any instructions he may have received.
Meanwhile, the other countries that signed the agreement—including France, Germany, and the U.K.—are insisting on actually sticking to the treaty they signed. Because, oddly enough, that treaty doesn’t have an “America broke it’s word, so everyone is out” clause.
Now John Bolton is making it clear that, by not breaking their treaty agreement, these countries will incur the wrath of Trump.
“Europeans are going to face the effective U.S. sanctions, already are really, because much of what they would like to sell to Iran involves U.S. technology, for which the licenses will not be available,” the national security adviser said.
Asked why the U.S. would make these moves considering that both allies and inspectors say that Iran is not in violation, Bolton responded that “the inspectors don’t know everything,” and that it was impossible to say whether or not Iran had violated the agreement because “we don’t have adequate inspections.” Which means that the inspections regime signed onto by the U.S., U.K., France, and Germany still doesn’t meet the standards for inspection for John Bolton. Which is certainly true. Because neither Bolton nor Trump has any standards for inspection. The intention was to leave the agreement, no matter what the inspectors did or did not do.
And all of this seems very, very familiar. Because John Bolton has played this tune before.
John Bolton, United States Under-Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security, today said the US is “confident” Iraq has hidden weapons of mass destruction, including chemical weapons, and production facilities.
But Bolton followed this up by saying that he was confident that UN inspectors would work—because they were supported by the U.S. And that he was confident those inspectors would find secret weapons and facilities.
John Bolton has no problem supporting inspectors … so long as they find what he tells them to find.