Trump’s Bolton Removal Leaves Pompeo as the Last Man Standing

„US National Security Advisor John Bolton became the latest senior bureaucrat to be fired from the Trump administration.

Unceremoniously dumped on Tuesday, he joined Rex Tillerson, Jim Mattis, H. R. McMaster and other high-profile departures.

For hard-liners on Iran, Bolton’s dramatic removal could be a sign that US President Donald Trump will shift to a more moderate position, but with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo still running the show on Iran sanctions, it’s hard to imagine a major change.

Bolton joined the administration as part of the second string of hires after Trump’s first team appeared shaky in the spring of 2018. He was appointed on March 22, 2018, a week after Pompeo was called up from CIA on March 13 to run the State Department. It took until April to confirm Pompeo.

Bolton was seen as an Iran hawk who had previously been UN ambassador under George W. Bush, appointed in 2005. Bolton was portrayed as the one trying to „goad“ Iran into war, accused of being „desperate“ for war. Whether this was accurate is not entirely clear, but perception is often as important in Washington as it is in Tehran. When Trump called off Iran strikes on June 20 in the wake of the downing of a US drone, it was clear that the Bolton agenda might be on the rocks.“ (…)