John Bolton demands withdrawal of Iranian troops from Syria

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas

Bolton, who will meet with Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev in Geneva on August 23, said he was ready to discuss with Moscow over the settlement of the Syrian crisis provided that Iranian military advisors leave the Arab country.

The pair discussed Syria, Ukraine, cyber-security and nuclear issues, Patrushev was quoted as saying, adding Bolton had not levelled any allegations against Russian Federation. Thousands of Iranians have protested since America renewed sanctions earlier this month after U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal in May, thereby adversely affecting the Iranian economy.

Speaking to reporters as he wrapped up a three-day visit to Israel, Bolton said that Putin told him that "Iranian interests in Syria were not coterminous with Russian interests" and that Moscow "would be content" with a complete exit of all Iranian forces from the country. "And we talked about a variety of ways in which it might be accomplished through a series of steps", Bolton said after talks in Geneva.

Patrushev said after the meeting in remarks carried by Russian news agencies that he and Bolton didn't agree on a joint statement because the USA wanted to mention the alleged Russian meddling in the US election.

Bolton said the issue of meddling in elections had prevented the two sides from issuing a joint final statement, Reuters reported.

"That's a possibility", Bolton said of the Moscow Treaty.

Washington imposed new sanctions this month, targeting Iran's vehicle industry, trade in precious metals and purchases of United States dollars.

Russian Federation launched an intervention in Syria in 2015, turning the tide of the war in favour of its ally, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

'The Americans wanted to mention what they see as our meddling in their elections, and we deny that, ' he said in remarks carried by Russian news agencies.

"Every day that goes by that mistake continues, this crisis could be over instantly if they did the right thing as a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally, part of the West, and release (him). without condition", he said. Bolton noted that the demonstrations against the regime don't appear to be coordinated, but rather "just regular people saying they are fed up with the government". "That would be an objective that I think President Putin would share", Bolton said without elaboration.

He was asked if he is ever concerned that Trump is a "security risk" given that his former lawyer Michael Cohen admitted to campaign finance crimes in federal court on Tuesday and implicated the President by saying Trump had directed the action.

Sanctions that the United States reimposed on Iran have been more effective than expected, though regime change there is not part of Washington's policy, President Donald Trump's national security adviser said on Wednesday.

Rather, Bolton said that Iran's economy had been mismanaged for years, and the billions Iran received in sanctions relief "mitigated the effects of this management of the economy, and gave the regime new life".

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