WASHINGTON, March 31 (UPI) -- Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton wants Britain to take a harder line against Iran in the standoff over 15 British sailors.
Calling Britain's step-like approach "pathetic," Bolton said Prime Minister Tony Blair should be threatening "real pain, real economic sanctions," the Times of London reported Saturday.
"Britain has got to be tougher here," the former Bush administration official said.
Former Republican U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich went so far as to say Britain should threaten to destroy Iran's petroleum industry, the newspaper said.
Meanwhile, U.S. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said there would be no deal to swap the British detainees for five Iranians held by U.S. forces in Iraq, CNN reported Saturday.
"The international community is not going to stand for the Iranian government trying to use this issue to distract the rest of the world from the situation in which Iran finds itself vis-a-vis its nuclear program," McCormack said.
The five Iranians are allegedly members of the Revolutionary Guard who were captured in January and accused of aiding insurgents in Iraq.