John Bolton: Obama’s Iran Deal Was ‘Diplomatic Waterloo for the United States’

Rouhani and President Obama

Former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton, who once considered a presidential run because he believed national security should be the central issue of the election, told Breitbart News Daily SiriusXM host Stephen K. Bannon Thursday that security had indeed become a core issue.

“Even on issues that may seem a little distant from it, like Hillary’s email scandal, when you think about it, of course that is a national security issue, as well,” Bolton said.

“People need to look at what we’re doing here. We’re electing the President of the United States. What duty is more important for the president than keeping the country safe from foreign threats?” he asked. “There are a lot of other responsibilities, but that’s the central one, and I think Hillary just fails miserably on that count.”

On the subject of Donald Trump’s vice presidential pick, Bolton mused that Trump “has international business experience, but he’s never been in the government himself,” so Bolton thinks “national security experience should be high on the list of qualifications in a VP he’s looking for.”

Bolton stated:

I won’t predict who I think it’s gonna be, but I will say this: Here’s a man who used to own the Miss America pageant. So I think we may be surprised when we hear tomorrow morning, which I guess they’ve announced at 11 a.m. they’ll tell us who the VP pick is going to be, that it may be somebody who’s not being discussed right at the moment.

“I know a lot of people have been contacted. How much vetting they’ve done, hard to say.” Bolton added, “But I think Donald Trump, perhaps better than any candidate in recent memory, knows the value of surprise when it comes to publicity, so I wouldn’t bet on the top three necessarily at this point.”

Bolton said the American people seem to be “out ahead of their leaders” on the importance of national security in the 2016 election.

“The conventional wisdom from the same crowd of political consultants that brought us defeat in the last two presidential elections says the only thing that matters is economic issues,” he observed. “I think the American people are smarter than the consultant class, and I think it’s a winner for Trump, if he emphasizes it more.”

“Let’s be clear: we’re going to hear endlessly how Hillary Clinton was a great secretary of state for four years. Now, that happens to be complete fiction, but the mainstream media will do anything they can to get her elected, and Trump’s got to break through that,” Bolton warned. “I think demonstrating that he is capable of handling these challenges, which I think he can do, could be the key to winning.”

Bannon suggested President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran could be a major winning issue for Trump, arguing that “in hindsight, decades from now, it’s going to be looked at as an inflection point about American security,” but on the one-year anniversary of the deal, coverage of the issue from the mainstream media amounts to “crickets.”

Bolton said that’s because the media know “if they talk about it, they’re gonna have to reveal what its deficiencies are.”

“They are counting, as Obama did going back to Obamacare, you can just get something done while people’s attention is diverted to something else, and they don’t focus on it anymore,” he said.

Bolton judged:

Look, it’s two things about the Iran deal at the one-year point: Big picture, there is no change in Iranian behavior around the world. Still the largest central banker for international terrorism, still supporting the Assad regime in Syria, still seeking hegemony in the Middle East while financing terrorists worldwide. No change in the behavior. This deal was supposed to bring them out of the Dark Ages into the civilized world. Total failure.

“Number two, the terms of the deal itself. It’s a complete win for Iran,” he said, continuing:

They’ve had over a hundred billion dollars of assets unfrozen. They have lifted the international sanctions, that mostly stopped European and Asian companies from doing business with them, buying their oil and gas. And they gained the most precious commodity of all, which is political legitimacy, which we never should have given them.

“What have we gotten in exchange? A few trivial, easily reversible concessions on the nuclear program,” Bolton said, answering his own question. “We just had a report last week from one of the German intelligence services that said their activity in 2015, to purchase nuclear and ballistic missile technology, was the highest ever. This administration can’t be bothered with mere facts like that.”

“I think the Iranians have been violating this deal since before the ink was dry, and they’re on a path to nuclear weapons,” he declared, then said:

I believe this agreement was a diplomatic Waterloo for the United States. It’s the worst example of American diplomacy in living memory. It will rank, as you suggested, with Munich as an example of appeasement. And we’re going to rue the day that this deal was agreed to.

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