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Iranian cleric says Israel, US will be targeted if Washington attacks

Iranian cleric says Israel, US will be targeted if Washington attacks

On Iran, Bolton said that following the United States decision to withdraw from a 2015 worldwide deal aimed at curbing Tehran's nuclear programme, the Trump administration's objective was to "put maximum pressure on the regime" by making sanctions more extensive and effective.

Asked how the United States might respond should there be a chemical or biological attack on Idlib, Bolton only said, "strongly".

"We also underline our concern at the potential for further - and illegal - use of chemical weapons", they said.

Pro-government forces are preparing to launch an assault on the last major rebel stronghold, the north-western province of Idlib, where two million people live.

Bolton also said that the Trump administration was not seeking to overthrow Iran's leadership with its reimposition of sanctions on Tehran.

Regarding Iran, Bolton said that "regime change" is not America's policy, but "what we want is massive change in the regime's behavior".

Bolton made the comments at the end of a three-day visit to Israel, where he spoke with officials ahead of a meeting with his Russian counterpart in Geneva.

Israel and Syria share a border and Iran is backing Assad in his country's civil war, along with Russian Federation and Iranian-backed Lebanese Shia group Hezbollah.

The INSS researcher thinks Israel now prefers to ignore the Iranian built-up along its northern border an instead focuses on the prevention of "the consolidation of substantial Iranian military capabilities in Syria".

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"Our interests in Syria are to finish the destruction of the ISIS (Islamic State) territorial caliphate and deal with the continuing threat of ISIS terrorism and to worry about the presence of Iranian militias and regular forces", he said in an interview.

"I think that's a legitimate act of self-defence on the part of Israel", Bolton said.

"I don't want to understate how much progress we made in other areas but in that area it was as I've described", he said.

National security adviser John Bolton warned Thursday that the United States will not tolerate Russian interference in the 2018 midterm elections, attempting to reaffirm the administration's strong opposition to Moscow's influence over the democratic process after President Donald Trump failed to raise the issue during his summit with Russian leader Vladimir Putin last month.

Bolton said that the sanctions were created to "put maximum pressure on the regime".

Tehran has not given an inch to Trump's pressure despite an economy beset by high unemployment and inflation and a rial currency that has lost half its value since April. One of the consequences of Trump's sanctions against Iran is that those who travel to Iran might face some difficulties afterwards.

Iran has taken a defiant stance to the USA turnaround, rattling other world powers where some businesses have been debating whether to divest from the country.

Thousands of Iranians have protested against price rises of some food items, a lack of jobs and state corruption. "I think their frenetic diplomatic activity in Europe indicates that they'd like to find somebody else, for example, to bear the cost of reconstructing Syria - which they may or may not succeed in doing".

It has helped turn the tide of war in Assad's favor - the Syrian government now controls almost two thirds of the country, compared to just one third back in 2014.


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