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Bolton warns Iran not to mistake US 'prudence' for 'weakness'

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US National Security Adviser John Bolton warned Tehran on Sunday of misinterpreting as "weakness" President Donald Trump's last-minute cancellation of a retaliatory strike on Iran.

Jerusalem

US National Security Adviser John Bolton warned Tehran on Sunday of misinterpreting as "weakness" President Donald Trump's last-minute cancellation of a retaliatory strike on Iran.

"Neither Iran nor any other hostile actor should mistake US prudence and discretion for weakness," said Mr Bolton ahead of a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem.

"Our military is rebuilt new and ready to go," said Mr Bolton, after Mr Trump called off a planned attack on Iran in response to Tehran downing a US drone on Thursday.

Mr Bolton, who was in Israel for a pre-scheduled trilateral meeting with his Israeli and Russian counterparts, Meir Ben-Shabbat and Nikolai Patru-shev, noted that the "current circumstances in the region make our conversations even more timely".

In a Saturday tweet, Mr Trump had pledged to hit Iran with "major" new sanctions on Monday.

Washington has imposed a series of measures against Tehran since Mr Trump pulled out of a landmark nu-clear accord between Iran and world powers last year.

Iran says it is not seeking a nuclear weapon and its programme is for civilian purposes only.

"We expect that the new sanctions President Trump referred to, in preparation for some weeks, will be announced publicly on Monday. Stay tuned," said the top US adviser.

Last month, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Tehran would stop observing restrictions set by the nuclear accord on its stocks of enriched uranium and heavy water.

Mr Netanyahu welcomed the expected new sanctions. Tehran has long been in a "campaign of aggression" against its Arab neighbours, the US and Israel, he said, and recent tensions were not a result of increasing US pressures.

"Those who describe the recent actions as somehow opening a hornets' nest are living on another planet," he said. "What's new is that now, thanks to crippling American sanctions, Iran is facing unprecedented economic pressure as a result of its aggression." AFP