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Bolton warns Iran of 'hell to pay' if U.S. citizens harmed

By Sommer Brokaw
Bolton warns Iran of 'hell to pay' if U.S. citizens harmed
U.S. national security adviser John Bolton rebuked the "mullahs in Tehran," Tuesday, saying that if they cross the United States, "there will indeed by hell to pay." File Photo by Abir Sulton/UPI | License Photo

Sept. 26 (UPI) -- National security adviser John Bolton has warned Iran of "hell to pay" if it harms U.S. citizens or allies.

Bolton directed his comments at the "murderous regime" of "mullahs in Tehran."

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"If you cross us, our allies, or our partners; if you harm our citizens; if you continue to lie, cheat, and deceive, yes, there will indeed be hell to pay," Bolton said Tuesday at the United Against Nuclear Iran Summit. "Let my message today be clear: We are watching, and we will come after you."

Earlier Tuesday, U.S. President Donald Trump spoke at the United Nations General Assembly in New York and defended his decision to pull out of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal in May, which he called "defective at its core."

"Iran's leaders sow chaos, death and destruction," Trump said. "They do not respect their neighbors or borders or the sovereign rights of nations. Instead, Iran's leaders plunder the nation's resources to enrich themselves and spread mayhem across the Middle East and far beyond."

Trump re-imposed some sanctions on Iran in August that targeted its trade in gold and other precious metals and pushed the price of oil higher. Oil sanctions are expected in November.

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Trump's position is that the re-imposed sanctions will pressure Iran to come up with a new deal while other U.S. allies have held onto the 2015 deal and are working on a way to skirt around the sanctions.

RELATED Iran arrests 22 tied to deadly attack on military parade

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo addressed "the Iranian regime's malign behavior at home and abroad," and released a U.S. Department of State report on Iran's support for terrorism, its missile program, illicit financial activities, threats to maritime and cybersecurity, and human rights abuses.

Iran president Hassan Rouhani responded at the U.N. General Assembly by saying that negotiation shouldn't take place by 'bullying,' so dialogue should begin by ending threats and "unjust sanctions."

"The United States' understanding of international relations is authoritarian," Rouhani said. "In its estimation might makes right. Its understanding of power, not of legal and legitimate authority, is reflected in bullying and imposition."

RELATED Trump at U.N. urges isolating Iran, tossing out 'abusive' trade deals

On Wednesday, Trump is set to lead a U.N. Security Council meeting on Iran and the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons.

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