Bolton: New Russia and Iran Sanctions ‘Appropriate,’ Trump Should Sign Bill

Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) shakes hands with his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani during a joint press conference following their meeting at the Kremlin in Moscow on March 28, 2017

Former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton joined SiriusXM host Raheem Kassam on Friday’s Breitbart News Daily to discuss new sanctions imposed by Congress against Russia and Iran. He saw the sanctions as an appropriate first step against those adversary nations and advised President Donald Trump to sign the bill.

Bolton began by saying he thinks the current U.N. Ambassador, Nikki Haley, is “doing a great job.”

“This was actually the first time we had had a lengthy conversation since she was confirmed and went up to New York,” he said of his recent meeting with Haley. “I was up there, it was a good opportunity, and I appreciated the chance to be in the new U.S. mission for the first time. We had a very thorough discussion. I told her she was doing a great job, and that I would be happy to help out any way I could.”

Kassam noted that a rare instance of bipartisan agreement in Washington was the House bill to slap new sanctions against Russia and Iran. He asked Bolton to walk through these sanctions and estimate their impact on America’s relationship with those two nations.

Bolton pointed out the Senate vote on sanctions was also impressively bipartisan at 98-2 in favor, “the two dissenting votes being Rand Paul and Bernie Sanders, which certainly tells you something.”

“I think that the sanctions were appropriate,” he said. “A diversion I would have been happy to see would have been Russia, Iran, and North Korea, all three of them. I think the Russian sanctions clearly because of their efforts to interfere in our elections, because of the military incursions that they’ve engaged in in Eastern Europe; Iran and North Korea, obviously, for their ballistic missile and nuclear weapons programs. Although the Iran sanctions are described more on the ballistic missile and terrorism sides, there’s no doubt I think where Congress comes out on this.”

“I favor the sanctions bill. I would sign it, if I were the President. But let’s be clear: these sanctions, taken altogether – this is a little bit of an oversimplification, but not much – are of the variety that says we’re going to target this individual because he did something we think is bad with respect to, let’s say, North Korea’s nuclear weapons program. Or we’re going to target that company or that government entity because it’s involved in Iran’s ballistic missile program,” said Bolton.

“These are pinprick sanctions,” he continued. “They were much favored by the Obama administration. They’ve been employed by other administrations as well. It’s a fundamentally flawed approach. Sanctions work in certain limited circumstances in my view – when they’re comprehensively applied to a target country when they’re swiftly enacted so the country doesn’t have a chance to prepare defensive measures beforehand, and then they have to be thoroughly enforced.”

“I’m just afraid that this bill – as I say, I would support it, I would sign it – this bill is more of a feel-good measure. The real issue is, will these countries change their behavior as a result of this bill? I think the answer we’ll see in time, of course, I think the answer is going to be no,” he predicted.

John Bolton is a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and head of his own political action committee, BoltonPAC.

Breitbart News Daily airs on SiriusXM Patriot 125 weekdays from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. Eastern.


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