Iranian officials Sunday described President Trump’s decision to appoint John Bolton national security adviser as shameful and a sign that Washington intends to overthrow the Tehran theocracy.
The semi-official Fars news agency quoted Ali Shamkhani, secretary of the country’s Supreme National Security Council, as saying that for an “apparent superpower it is a matter of shame that its national security adviser receives wages from a terrorist group.” Shamkhani was referring to Bolton’s attendance at a gathering of the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq (MEK) opposition group in 2017.
Also on Sunday, Hossein Naghavi Hosseini, spokesman for the influential parliamentary committee on national security and foreign policy, told the semi-official ISNA news agency that Bolton’s appointment, as well as that of former CIA chief Mike Pompeo to secretary of state, “proves that the final U.S. purpose is overthrowing the Islamic Republic.” He added that the U.S. will use MEK to achieve that aim.
The U.S. removed MEK from its list of foreign terrorist organizations in 2012.
Shamkhani also said attempts by the U.S. to weaken Iran have only “laid the groundwork for improving the power and influence” of Iran.
Trump said Thursday he would appoint Bolton to the post as his administration faces a key decision on whether to pull out of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. Bolton, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, advocates regime change in Iran and is opposed to the nuclear deal.