Top U.S. adviser says preventing Iran from nuke weapons "top priority"
JERUSALEM, Aug. 20 (Xinhua) -- U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton on Sunday told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons is "a top priority for the United States."
Speaking at the start of their meeting in Jerusalem, Bolton said that Iran's military capabilities are "a question of the highest importance for the United States."
"It's why we've worked with our friends in Europe to convince them of the need to take stronger steps against the Iranian nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs," he said.
The adviser said the Iran nuclear deal was "wretched" and that is why the U.S. President Donald Trump stepped out of the deal last month.
Netanyahu agreed that the deal was "disastrous." He thanked Trump for re-imposing sanctions on Iran.
He said that the discussions with Bolton were aimed "to align our policies even more closely on Iran, on Syria, (and) on Gaza."
Bolton arrived in Israel on Sunday for a two-day visit. On Monday, he is expected to meet Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman.
Bolton is a strident critic of the nuclear deal, which was signed in 2015 between the world powers and Iran to restrain Iran's nuclear program. He has called to harden the pressure on Iran with harsh economic sanctions to force Iran to stop its ballistic missiles programs and ensure it will not develop nuclear weapons.
Iran denies it develops nuclear missiles.