Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Corporate gatekeepers and big tech monopolists are making it more difficult than ever for independent media to survive. Please chip in today.

William Hartung, director of the Arms and Security Project at the Center for International Policy, said on Tuesday that "we need to be speaking out early and often against the administration's push for regime change in Iran." (Photo: White House/Twitter)

Not-So-Veiled Threat of War as John Bolton Says Iran May Not Have 'Many More Anniversaries to Enjoy'

"He clearly wants a war before Trump leaves office and shouldn't be underestimated."

Jake Johnson

As Iranians this week mark the 40th anniversary of their country's 1979 revolution, President Donald Trump's national security adviser John Bolton declared in a message to Iranian leaders on Monday that he doesn't think they will "have many more anniversaries to enjoy"—a comment that was immediately perceived as a direct threat of war.

"He is laying the groundwork for war and we all must be vigilant."
—Sen. Chris Murphy

In video posted to the White House's official Twitter page on Monday, Bolton echoed false assertions and repeatedly debunked claims by the Trump that Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons and described the Iranian government as the "central banker of international terrorism."

Responding to Bolton's video, Sen. Chris Murphy warned in a tweet on Tuesday that Trump's hawkish national security adviser is knowingly lying to build momentum for a U.S. military attack on Iran.

"Here Bolton says Iran is seeking nuclear weapons. This simply isn't true. The intelligence says the opposite and he knows it," Murphy wrote. "He is laying the groundwork for war and we all must be vigilant."

Watch Bolton's video message:

Flipping the White House's claim that the Iranian Revolution has resulted in "40 years of failure," Javad Zarif—Iran's foreign minister—declared in a tweet on Monday, "After 40 years of wrong choices, [it is] time for Donald Trump to rethink failed U.S. policy."

Bolton's assertion that Iran is currently pursuing nuclear weapons contradicts the findings of both the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the Trump administration's top intelligence officials, who just last month concluded that "Iran is not currently undertaking the key nuclear weapons-development activities we judge necessary to produce a nuclear device."

"John Bolton's claim that 'Iran continues to seek nuclear weapons' is another bald-faced lie," said Ryan Costello, policy director at the National Iranian American Council. "He clearly wants a war before Trump leaves office and shouldn't be underestimated."

As Common Dreams reported last month, Bolton in 2018 called on the Pentagon to provide the Trump White House with "military options" to launch a strike on Iran. The Pentagon reportedly complied with Bolton's request, but it is unclear whether the requested information ever reached Trump.

Bolton has also teamed up with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo—who has called for regime change in Iran—in an effort to "foment unrest" inside Iran with "offensive of speeches and online communications."

William Hartung, director of the Arms and Security Project at the Center for International Policy, concluded on Tuesday that "we need to be speaking out early and often against the administration's push for regime change in Iran."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Judy Blume, Mo Willems Among 1,300 Children's Authors to Condemn 'Wave of Book Suppression'

"Reading stories that reflect the diversity of our world builds empathy and respect for everyone's humanity."

Kenny Stancil ·


Now Do Windfall Tax, Say Climate Groups After Passage of Big Oil Price Gouging Bill

"Voters will reward politicians who stand up for people, not polluters," said one campaigner, "and taxing windfall profits is wildly popular in every part of the country."

Brett Wilkins ·


Ocasio-Cortez: Maloney Should Quit DCCC Post If He Runs Against Mondaire Jones

"It's completely inappropriate" for Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney to be in charge of the House Democrats' campaign arm "if he's going to challenge another member," said Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Kenny Stancil ·


War, Disasters Drive 'All-Time High' of Nearly 60 Million Displaced in Home Nations

The head of the Norwegian Refugee Council noted the situation "is phenomenally worse than even our record figure suggests" because it does not include those forced to flee Russia's assault on Ukraine.

Jessica Corbett ·


Global Climate Movement Warns Nations Have Just 6 Months to End Fossil Fuel Finance

"The pandemic has shown that governments can rapidly mobilize massive sums of public money," says one campaigner. "This is the moment to do it, and accelerate the transition."

Brett Wilkins ·

Common Dreams Logo