Bolton conducted the interview during a rally on September 20th that was coordinated by the Organization of Iranian-American Communities (OIAC), and members of the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK), against the visit of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in New York. While Rouhani was inside the building, hundreds of protesters outside waved Iranian flags, chanted and held signs that said “free Iran.”
Bolton and several other current or former U.S. politicians who favor a tougher stance on Iran also spoke at the rally, including independent former U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman, and Democratic U.S. Rep. Eliot Engel.
President Trump told reporters last week he has “decided” on a plan of action, but he has yet to provide specific details. He has twice re-certified the Iran nuclear deal, but his strong speech at the UNGA last week seems to point to his not re-certifying it again, next month.
In his address to the UNGA last week, Rouhani claimed, “We never threaten anyone but we do not tolerate threats from anyone. Our discourse is one of dignity and respect. And we are unmoved by threats and intimidation. We believe in dialogue and negotiation based on equal footing and mutual respect.”
Rouhani called Trump’s remarks an “ignorant, absurd and hateful rhetoric filled with ridiculously baseless allegations.”
“It will be a great pity if this agreement were to be destroyed by rogue newcomers to the world of politics: the world will have lost a great opportunity,” Rouhani said.
When asked if he was concerned about a potential nuclear breakout if Trump decertifies, Bolton said, “I think it’s more likely that the ayatollahs are violating the deal already and will get a nuclear capability more quickly if we stay in the deal.”
Bolton penned an article in National Review, last month at the behest of former Trump chief strategist Steve Bannon. In it, he detailed a plan he’d drafted, to exit the nuclear deal with Iran.