Today on Holden’s Obsession with the Gaggle

From Holden:

Poor Dana Peroxide. UN Ambassador John “Holmes” Bolton has been freelancing again and no one bothered to tell Dana.

Q On Iran, I realize that the deadline hasn’t been reached yet, but there appears to be a movement for the United States to go ahead with sanctions without going through the U.N. — is that correct? And also, how soon after August 31st could there be sanctions imposed?

MS. PERINO: The question was about Iran and whether or not reports about the United States making decisions about going alone are accurate, and how soon after August 31st there would be action — correct?

Q Sanctions.

MS. PERINO: Sanctions. I saw that report; I don’t know its veracity. I saw it was unnamed officials.

Q It was Bolton.

MS. PERINO: Was it Bolton? Over the weekend. I’m sorry, I didn’t see that report. I saw the one this morning in The Washington Times. What I know is that the P5 plus one is meeting on August 31st. That will be three days from now. They are in communication with one another right now. And there’s just nothing to report yet in terms of next steps or action. If that changes between now and Thursday, I will certainly let you know immediately. But for now, I don’t have anything to add to what John Bolton said over the weekend.

Uh, yeah Dana. It was Bolton.

U.S. Ambassador John R. Bolton said in an interview late this week that the United States planned to introduce a resolution imposing penalties such as a travel ban and asset freeze for key Iranian leaders soon after the Aug. 31 deadline, and seemed optimistic that China and Russia would agree to it once they saw the text. “Everybody’s been on board,” he said.

But in case Russia and China do not accept it, the U.S. is working a parallel diplomatic track outside the U.N., Bolton said.

Under U.S. terrorism laws, Washington could ramp up its own sanctions, including financial constraints on Tehran and interception of missile and nuclear materials en route to Iran, Bolton said, and the U.S. is encouraging other countries to follow suit. “You don’t need Security Council authority to impose sanctions, just as we have,” he said.

[snip]

“We will continue to enhance PSI to cut off flows of materials and technology that are useful to Iran’s ballistic missile program and nuclear programs,” Bolton said. “We will be constraining financial transactions under existing terrorism laws.”

He said Washington was focusing on European and Japanese banks to restrict business with Iran, because most of Tehran’s transactions are done in U.S. dollars, euros, British pounds and yen. “There aren’t a lot of opportunities to sell in other currencies,” he said.