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US will squeeze Iran with sanctions ‘until the pips squeak’: Bolton

John Bolton
US National Security Advisor John Bolton said the United States will “squeeze” Iran’s economy “until the pips squeak,” just one week after Washington imposed a new round of sanctions on Tehran.

Speaking ahead of the ASEAN-US summit in Singapore, Bolton said that the Iranian government is already under “real pressure” and that the US would “significantly increase” the enforcement of sanctions.

Bolton said there was “no doubt” that Iran has already begun looking for ways to evade sanctions, which hit the country’s oil, financial, shipping, nuclear and aviation industries. He added that Tehran would be looking for ways around sanctions on the oil and financial markets in particular.

In May, US President Donald Trump decided to withdraw the US from the 2015 multinational nuclear deal with Iran.

Since then, all of the sanctions which were lifted under the terms of the deal have been reimposed. The harsh measures are expected to push the Iranian economy into recession this year, according to an outlook report from the International Monetary Fund this week. European countries have been trying to find ways around Trump’s sanctions in an effort to continue trading with Iran, but Trump has warned of penalties if they do not abide by the sanctions.

Acknowledging widespread distaste for Washington’s Iran policy, Bolton compared Europe’s attitude to the grieving process, but was confident it would fall in line.

“I like to compare the attitudes that are changing in Europe to a book written years ago in the US called ‘The Six Stages of Grief’,” he said. “It starts off with denial. Then it ends up at acceptance.”