US should avoid `warmongers` after Bolton departure, says Iran


Iran on Wednesday rejected the possibility of a meeting between President Hassan Rouhani and USA counterpart Donald Trump, after the White House signalled it was open to such an encounter.

Reports are crossing the wire this morning showing that now former National Security Advisor Bolton had fundamental disagreements with President Trump over the handling of Iran, particularly, President Trump's willingness to consider easing sanctions to spur a potential meeting between himself and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

"America should understand should distance itself from warmongers", Iran's semi-official Tasnim news agency quoted Rouhani as saying on Wednesday, without mentioning Bolton's name.

This comes while White House spokesman Judd Deere had said on September 5 that during a conversation with Macron, Donald Trump had stressed that sanctions against Iran will not be lifted at this point.

Last year, Trump pulled the USA out of the landmark 2015 nuclear deal that lifted sanction on Iran in exchange for caps on Iran's nuclear program.

"The enemy imposed "maximum pressure" on us".

President Hassan Rouhani said on Wednesday that U.S. "warmongering" would fail and warned that Iran was ready to further reduce its nuclear commitments in response to crippling USA sanctions.

Others say the departure of Bolton, an advocate of "regime change" in Iran who has repeatedly called for bombing the country's nuclear facilities, increases the likelihood of a compromise from the Trump administration. But even if a meeting does not take place, the fact that Bolton is out and Trump is considering pulling back on the sanctions is a recipe for lower oil prices. Also, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo butted heads with Bolton, but he has also been a consistent hawk, and has helped engineer the maximum pressure campaign. For now, Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin said the United States would keep up its campaign of sanctions and military pressure. That effort wasn't an explicit condition of U.S. policy until Bolton took the helm of the National Security Council.

In July, Iran abandoned two of its commitments under the deal by allowing its stockpile of enriched uranium to exceed the 300-kilogram limit and breaching the cap on the purity of its uranium stocks. Where will Bolton's departure cause changes?

The 2015 deal was struck after concerns from the United States and its allies that the nuclear program, which Iran insisted was for civilian use, aimed to produce weapons. "And that's why, before 2019, we here will celebrate in Tehran!".

"There was never really a national security process that connected to the president. Those are positions I took as a private citizen", Bolton said when journalists asked him during a visit to Abu Dhabi in May about his prior remarks to the MEK. I advise the president. "It's up to him (Trump) to make those decisions".

Mr. Pompeo made no secret Tuesday of the fact that he and Mr. Bolton crossed swords on policy over the past year. What happens next remains unclear.