President Donald Trump is “considering” a plan for a new nuclear deal with Iran outlined by France’s President Emmanuel Macron, national security adviser John Bolton said Sunday.
In an interview on “Fox News Sunday,” Bolton said Trump, however, has made no decision on whether to pull out of a nuclear non-proliferation pact with Tehran.
“He is certainly considering the framework, the ‘four pillars’ that President Macron laid out in their meeting last week,” Bolton said.
Under Macron’s plan, if Iran would agree to start talking about new issues — including its ballistic missile program, its influence in the Middle East and various timelines beyond those in the current pact — the existing deal would remain intact.
“The Iran nuclear situation … in the future, Iran's ballistic missiles and regional peace and security… is something that is of interest to the president and worth pursuing,” Bolton said.
“But in terms specifically of a nuclear deal, there's no decision on that yet He will make the decision when it's appropriate to make a decision and that will be up until May 12th.”
Bolton, in his first television interview since taking over for H.R. McMaster, also said no one in the Trump administration is “starry eyed” about the expected meeting of Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
“[T]hey've lied about it and broken their commitments,” in the past he said, “which is one reason there's nobody in the Trump administration starry-eyed about what may happen here.”
“But by demonstrating they've made a strategic decision to give up nuclear weapons it would be possible to move quickly.”
“I think the presidency is a potential here for a historic agreement,” Bolton said. “A breakthrough that nobody could have imagined even a few months ago. That potential is there. As he says repeatedly, the potential for no deal at all is over there. We are not going to know until we actually have the meeting and see what Kim Jong Un is prepared to do.”
Bolton added that the United States wants to “test” North Korea in that first meeting “for evidence that they’ve made a strategic decision to denuclearize,” adding that a 1992 joint denuclearization agreement “had North Korea pledging to give up any aspect of nuclear weapons and to give up uranium enrichment and plutonium processing.”
“We got other things to talk about as well, ballistic missiles, chemical and biological weapons, the American hostages, the Japanese abductees,” he said. “Starting on the nuclear side, what North Korea agreed to more than a quarter-century ago was a pretty good start.”
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