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Report: John Bolton Says Iran Doesn’t Own A ‘Hunting License In The Middle East’

REUTERS

David Krayden Ottawa Bureau Chief

National Security Advisor John Bolton reportedly came out swinging against Iran on Sunday, saying it does not own a “hunting license in the Middle East.”

Bolton, widely seen as the most prominent hawk in the Trump administration, said while the United States is exercising “prudence and discretion” in its foreign policy, Iran should not perceive that as weakness, The Associated Press reported.

The top Trump official was standing next to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu when he explained that people should not misunderstand why President Donald Trump halted a missile strike against Iran last week. It only meant Trump decided not to attack ”at this time,” AP said. (RELATED: Pompeo In Warsaw: Peace Can’t Exist Without ‘Confronting Iran)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton deliver joint statements in Jerusalem June 23, 2019. Tsafrir Abayov/Pool via REUTERS

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton deliver joint statements in Jerusalem June 23, 2019. Tsafrir Abayov/Pool via REUTERS

Previous Iranian leaders have said they are committed to “the full annihilation of Israel.”

Iran shot down a U.S. Navy drone last week. Although Iran insists the unmanned aircraft had entered its airspace, the United States said it was flying over international waters when it was struck. That incident prompted Trump to nearly unleash American fury on Iran late Thursday night.

Tensions in the region have been escalating since Bolton announced that the U.S. was sending an aircraft carrier strike group and bomber task force to the region due to a “a number of troubling and escalatory indications and warnings.”

Last Monday, the Trump administration said that it planned to send 1,000 troops to the Middle East in an apparent response to Iran’s provocations.

Iran and the U.S. negotiated a nuclear deal in 2015 that was supposed to smother the country’s nuclear weapons program, but Trump pulled the U.S. out of the agreement in 2018, citing critics who said the treaty lacked sufficient verification measures. (RELATED: Rep. Omar Blames Alleged Iranian Aggression On Trump Rejecting Obama Nuclear Deal)

TOPSHOT - US President Donald Trump arrives to speak during the Republican Party of Iowa Annual Dinner at The Ron Pearson Center in West Des Moines, Iowa on June 11, 2019. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP) (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

TOPSHOT – US President Donald Trump arrives to speak during the Republican Party of Iowa Annual Dinner at The Ron Pearson Center in West Des Moines, Iowa on June 11, 2019. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Trump appears to be opting more for economic sanctions than military action, as he tweeted Saturday.

“Iran cannot have Nuclear Weapons! Under the terrible Obama plan, they would have been on their way to Nuclear in a short number of years, and existing verification is not acceptable. We are putting major additional Sanctions on Iran on Monday,” he said.

“I look forward to the day that Sanctions come off Iran, and they become a productive and prosperous nation again – The sooner the better!”

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