Sputnik 26 March 2018 : Shaul Mofaz, former Chief of Staff of the Israeli Defense Forces and ex Minister of Defense: “I have known John Bolton since his days as US ambassador to the United Nations. He tried to convince me that Israel must attack Iran,” Shaul Mofaz said.
The Intercept 23 March 2018: Rob Malley, who coordinated Middle East policy in the Obama administration, observed that Bolton’s appointment, along with the nomination of Iran deal critic Mike Pompeo as secretary of state, seemed to signal that the (Iran nuclear) agreement would most likely be “dead and buried” within months. Trita Parsi, leader of the National Iranian American Council wrote on Twitter: “People, let this be very clear: The appointment of Bolton is essentially a declaration of war with Iran. With Pompeo and Bolton, Trump is assembling a WAR CABINET.”
Just eight months ago, at a Paris gathering, Bolton told members of the Iranian exile group, known as the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq, MEK, or People’s Mujahedeen, that the Trump administration should embrace their goal of immediate regime change in Iran and recognize their group as a “viable” alternative.
“The outcome of the president’s policy review should be to determine that the Ayatollah Khomeini’s 1979 revolution will not last until its 40th birthday,” Bolton said. (The 40th anniversary of the Iranian revolution will be on February 11, 2019.) “The declared policy of the United States should be the overthrow of the mullahs’ regime in Tehran,” Bolton added. “The behavior and the objectives of the regime are not going to change and, therefore, the only solution is to change the regime itself.”
As the Iranian expatriate journalist Bahman Kalbasi noted, Bolton concluded his address to the exiles with a rousing promise: “And that’s why, before 2019, we here will celebrate in Tehran!”
To understand how extraordinary it is that the man about to become the president’s most senior national security official made this promise to the MEK, it is important to know that, until recently, the Iranian dissidents had spent three decades trying to achieve their aims through violence, including terrorist attacks.
The MEK supported Saddam Hussein during the Iran-Iraq war. Today, the MEK is viewed negatively by most Iranians, who would prefer to maintain the status quo instead of embracing what they consider a corrupt, criminal cult that killed many Iranians during the war.
Sputnik 25 March 2018: Iran’s secretary of the Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani has lashed out at the appointment of former US ambassador John Bolton as US National Security adviser, said the Iranian Fars news agency. The secretary specifically pointed out Bolton’s ties to the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq (MEK) group, the Iranian Marxist opposition seeking to overthrow the Ayatollah government and had been on terrorist group lists both in Europe and the US for a long time (until it was removed in 2009 and 2012 respectively) and still is in Iran.
“It is a shame that the United States National Security Adviser is being paid by a terrorist group,” Ali Shamkhani said.
Bolton has been attending conferences organized by MEK for years, which consider themselves Iranian exile government.