By Javad Heirannia

Pompeo will have less weight in Trump’s national security team: expert

September 18, 2019

TEHRAN - Research Assistant at Princeton University's Program on Science and Global Security, says in the absence of Bolton, I think Pompeo, another Iran Hawk will have less weight in Trump’s national security team.

Sina Azodi adds “Keep in mind that an ordinary president would usually cave into such pressures, but Trump as has been proven many times, is not an ordinary president.”
Following is the full text of the interview:

Q: What is your assessment of John Bolton's dismissal? Will the militant faction become a minority with this layoff?

A: On the dismissal of John Bolton, I have two theories; one is related to Afghanistan, where he had been in intense argument with President Trump over inviting the Taliban representatives to the Camp David, on (or tear the anniversary) of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. He (correctly) had argued that this will not work well for the administration - 
Other theory is his disagreement with Trump over extending olive branch to Iran and Trump’s considering of the French proposal for extending a 15 billion dollar credit line to Iran to ease the sanctions; in addition to the possibility of a meeting with Rouhani.  

Bolton has been a long Iran-hawk, has written on the need to “bomb Iran, and has further appeared frequently on MEK events, receiving speaking fees from them.  Needless to say that, while Trump claims that Bolton has been fired, Bolton says he offered his resignation first. 

Q: What effect will Bolton's dismissal have on U.S. foreign policy toward Iran?

A: In the absence of Bolton, I think Pompeo, another Iran Hawk will have less weight in Trump’s national security team. Keep in mind that an ordinary president would usually cave into such pressures, but Trump as has been proven many times, is not an ordinary president. At the end of the day, he goes by his gut feelings and not the advice.  So on Iran, he is really interested in making a deal with Iranians and claiming the victory. Will he do it? We don’t know because he just tweeted, falsely claiming that he never said the he would meet with Iranians without preconditions. 

Q: With Bolton fired, it was speculated that Trump would be on a diplomatic course with Iran. On the other hand, Yemeni attacks on Aramco have prompted Washington to declare that it is ready to fight Iran. What is your assessment of this situation?

A; On this question, I would argue that it is Trump making threats because at the end of the day the President of the U.S. doesn’t get to declare war on any country because the crown prince of Saudi Arabia says so (referring to his tweet last night). There is also the possibility that a third party wants to drag the U.S. into a war with Iran, using the U.S. blood and treasury.

Q: Given the change of personality like Bolton, are Israeli policies in the U.S. State Department going to fade or shift?

A: I think that pro-Israeli policies are more embedded in the U.S., both in the Congress and the White House and change of personality cannot change the influence.
 

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