Bolton: Putin shares our desire to get Iranian troops out of Syria

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"Our objective is to have as few waivers as possible and that's something we're going to pursue", Bolton says of the sanctions.

He is now in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev where he will attend a parade to mark the country's independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.

Earlier this month, US President Donald Trump reimposed economic sanctions against Iran, calling them the "most biting sanctions ever". Such meetings were aimed toward "opening up channels" and "break through some of the difficulties we've had".

Regarding Iran, Bolton said that the USA did not seek regime change, but "what we want is massive change in the regime's behavior".

Bolton told reporters later: "I made it clear that we wouldn't tolerate meddling in 2018, and we were prepared to take necessary steps to prevent it from happening".

But he appeared to offer a bit of an olive branch.

Amid a deteriorating outlook between Washington and Tehran, a senior Iranian cleric on Wednesday said the USA and Israel would be targeted if either power attacked Iran.

Extending New Start, which Bolton denounced at its inception as undermining USA national security interests, has always been a Russian priority.

There was no joint statement after the talks, because reportedly Bolton insisted that Russian Federation admit it meddled in the 2016 U.S. election, and Patrushev countered by asking the United States to stop interfering in the affairs of other countries.

"Well, this question of what to do with the Iranian forces... was something we discussed", he says.

He said that the meeting was constructive, adding that Russia will look at the US proposals made during the meeting and expects the U.S.to consider Russian initiatives.

Bolton's visit to Kiev comes on the heels of a five-hour meeting in Geneva with Russia's Patrushev that Bolton said resulted in "considerable progress".

Patrushev was quoted by Russian news agencies as saying they had broadly agreed to re-open communication lines between their respective foreign and defence ministries.

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United States administration officials have said newly re-imposed sanctions are meant to change Iran's policies, including its role in the region, making a point that they are not aimed at toppling the Islamic Republic.

Last week, Khamenei had said that Iran would neither go to war nor hold negotiations with the US.

"They [Iran] know what we expect and when they are ready to conform to that there's opportunity for settlement", Bolton said.

He said the USA should use "leverage" over Russian Federation, one of President Assad's two key backers, to force it to get rid of Iranian troops and influence over the regime.

A U.S. -Iranian war of words has escalated since Trump withdrew Washington from the world powers' nuclear deal with Iran in May, blasting it as flawed and reimposing sanctions to choke Iran's economy and force it to renegotiate or change direction.

In answer to a question, Bolton said that he had not raised the statement by Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) on Monday that hackers linked to Russia's government had sought to launch cyber attacks on US political groups.

Bolton was asked whether Trump's hard week in Washington, including the felony convictions of former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen, Trump's former personal lawyer, made him "concerned that your own president is a security risk".

Commenting on the arrangement to resume the inter-ministerial contacts, Patrushev said that that it was particularly vital to continue defense contacts with the United States, including on the Syrian crisis.

Asked about whether the issue had been addressed Thursday, he said the Russian officials "haven't brought it up" in Thursday morning - and suggested they shouldn't at the later session either.

Bolton was vague on this offer, beyond suggesting it came from Russian Federation.

Europe must "form a counterweight when the USA crosses red lines", the German foreign minister said.

At a news conference in Jerusalem, Bolton voiced support for Israeli strikes in recent months on Syrian sites where Iranian-supplied missiles and other "threatening weapons" had been deployed. "Recently, US officials have been talking blatantly about us", he tweeted. We hope that's right.

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