Trump security advisor's stark Iran and Huawei warning to Boris Johnson cabinet
The US has been carrying out a “maximum pressure” sanctions campaign against Iran and cracking down on Chinese tech giant Huawei for some time. Mr Bolton is frustrated that the US’ stance found little support in the previous UK Cabinet and he hopes he will have more traction with a Boris Johnson lead government. Mr Bolton, speaking at the Edmund Burke Foundation’s National Conservatism Conference in July, said: “In the case of any of the high-tech companies, when they engage in activity that benefits China and potentially harms America, I think we’re entitled to look at those companies like Huawei and say, ‘You’re not selling in the United States.’”
Donald Trump has been pushing Britain to get tougher on China’s Huawei out of concern its next-generation 5G technology represents a national security risk.
Washington wants its allies, including Britain, to avoid using equipment from Huawei.
Under former Prime Minister Theresa May, the British government decided in principle to give Huawei limited access to non-core parts of the 5G network, but the senior US official said Mr Bolton hoped to find a friendlier audience on the topic from the Johnson government.
A final British decision has not yet been taken.
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Mr Bolton plans to argue that Huawei is an arm of the Chinese government and that its hardware could be used to monitor communications that go through its system.
US National Security Adviser John Bolton will try to convince the new Cabinet of Prime Minister Boris Johnson to align its foreign policies more with the American “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran.
Mr Bolton will also advise the UK to discard its plans to use Huawei equipment in developing its 5G networks during his visit to the UK, Reuters reported, citing an anonymous source within the US administration.
Trump’s advisor will reportedly try to convince London that declaring the Iran nuclear deal dead will put even more pressure on Iran, which recently seized a British-flagged tanker over alleged maritime violations.
At the same time, the source noted that the UK issuing such a declaration is not expected in the near future.
Additionally, Bolton is expected to try to prove to Britain that Huawei is allegedly helping Chinese government spy on its customers.
This US claim has long denied by both the company and Beijing.
The source says that in doing this, Washington is hoping to convince London to ditch Huawei’s equipment from being used in the country’s upcoming 5G networks.
Notably, the previous Cabinet of Theresa May had views that were opposite to those of Washington when it came to these issues.
The UK, along with other signatories, remained in the Iran nuclear deal after the US abandoned it and introduced sanctions against Tehran.
London was also reportedly not opposed to using Huawei technologies in non-core systems in the future British 5G network, despite threats from Washington that it would suspend intelligence sharing.