John Bolton, who served as US President Donald Trump’s National Security Adviser, spoke on Monday to Israeli public broadcaster Kan 11 News following the elimination of senior Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh.

“He had a very significant role in their designing and procuring the materials for and advancing their capabilities in the nuclear weapons field,” he said.

While Bolton would not specify under what consequences he heard the name Fakhrizadeh, he did note, “It’s long been my view that I think there is a right of self-defense. We don’t know for sure who did this, but neither Israel nor the United States nor anybody else has any obligation to wait until their innocent civilians are killed by nuclear weapons in the hands of a terrorist state.”

He reminded that the US gives Israel freedom regarding Iran, saying, “Israel doesn’t need anybody’s permission to engage in self-defense and I think that’s been a critical element of Israeli policy since independence. I won’t deny that it sometimes causes problems for the United States.”

Bolton downplayed the recent reports that Trump was mulling an attack on Iran before leaving office and proceeded to criticize the President’s strategy, or lack thereof, vis-à-vis Iran.

“I wouldn’t take those press reports about an attack on Iran too seriously,” he said. “[Trump] asks about a lot of things, and I think it’s especially important for Israel to know that there’s no reason to have counted on Trump for the right decisions in hard situations based on a strategy with respect to Israel because there wasn’t any strategy.”