President Donald Trump announced on Thursday, March 22, that former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton, will replace H.R. McMaster as National Security Adviser in early April.
“I am pleased to announce that, effective 4/9/18, @AmbJohnBolton will be my new National Security Advisor. I am very thankful for the service of General H.R. McMaster who has done an outstanding job & will always remain my friend. There will be an official contact handover on 4/9,” Trump wrote on Twitter.
I am pleased to announce that, effective 4/9/18, @AmbJohnBolton will be my new National Security Advisor. I am very thankful for the service of General H.R. McMaster who has done an outstanding job & will always remain my friend. There will be an official contact handover on 4/9.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 22, 2018
The move to replace McMaster as national security adviser follows a number of leaks from within the White House national security team.
“I am thankful to President Donald J. Trump for the opportunity to serve him and our nation as national security advisor. I am grateful for the friendship and support of the members of the National Security Council who worked together to provide the President with the best options to protect and advance our national interests,” McMaster said in a statement.
Bolton served under former President George W. Bush as Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security (2001-2005) and as U.S. ambassador to the U.N. (2005-2006).
Bolton has been a fierce critic of the Iran nuclear deal reached between the Obama administration and the Iranian regime in 2015.
President Trump is currently evaluating which steps to take next when it comes to the deal, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which would allow Iran to develop nuclear weapons in 2026 after key provisions of the deal expire.
In January this year, Trump said he would issue his last waiver keeping the deal in place, providing a 120-day window for key improvements to be made to the deal.
Trump has demanded for the so-called sunset clauses to be removed and for Iran’s ballistic missile program to be included in the deal. The President has left open the possibility for the United States to pull out of the agreement if no such improvements are made.
Earlier this week Trump met with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, a key ally in the region who has a vested interest in preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.
On Wednesday, Israel took the unusual step to release footage and images of a 2007 air raid it conducted against a nuclear power plant in Syria.
Israel’s intelligence minister, Israel Katz, said on Twitter: “The (2007) operation and its success made clear that Israel will never allow nuclear weaponry to be in the hands of those who threaten its existence – Syria then, and Iran today.”