Trump Says 'We'll See What Happens' on Possible Easing of Iran Sanctions

Opinion: John Bolton got the boot. So much for Trump's 'team of rivals'

Opinion: John Bolton got the boot. So much for Trump's 'team of rivals'

President Donald Trump is ready to meet his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani without preconditions while maintaining "maximum pressure" on Tehran, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Tuesday.

Even as the removal of national security hardliner John Bolton triggered speculation that Trump might soften his approach to Iran, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo joined Israel in alleging "possible undeclared nuclear activities" by Tehran, and the U.S. administration imposed new terrorist designations on leaders of some groups linked to the Islamic republic.

Dermer otherwise lavishly praised President Donald Trump for his increased sanctions on Iran as well as for other moves, including moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem and recognizing Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

Trump on Wednesday warned Iran against further uranium enrichment but left open the possibility the United States could lift sanctions to pave the way to a meeting with Rouhani.

Reporting from Tehran, Al Jazeera's Dorsa Jabbari said the Iranian officials "don't really see a major change" in the U.S. policy towards Iran with the departure of Bolton, who was one of the strongest advocates of a hard line towards the Middle Eastern country.

Just weeks ahead of the UN General Assembly, Bolton's exit raised speculation that the United States could reenter negotiations with Iran for a fresh nuclear deal.

Rouhani has dismissed meeting with Trump, insisting that Washington must lift the sanctions it has imposed on Iran.

"As the world. was breathing a sigh of relief over ouster of #B_Team's henchman in the White House, (Washington) declared further escalation of #EconomicTerrorism (sanctions) against Iran", Zarif tweeted.

Trump-Biden matchup promises epic presidential gaffes contest
Trump-Biden matchup promises epic presidential gaffes contest

Zarif has often said that a so-called "B-team" including Bolton could goad Trump into a conflict with Tehran.

Slavin said that with Bolton gone, the French proposal or any other initiative to ease the effects of American sanctions may bring the Iranians to the negotiating table.

Meanwhile, the Trump administration announced new terrorist designations against leaders or operatives of organizations with close ties to Tehran, among them Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force and Hezbollah. "Thirst for war -maximum pressure- should go with the warmonger-in-chief (Bolton)". But it has also been cold to recent Trump administration overtures, saying it will not enter talks while under USA sanctions.

Rouhani has called the use of faster centrifuges Iran's "third step" away from the nuclear deal. It has responded to USA sanctions with steps to reduce its compliance with the accord, and has said it could eventually leave it unless other parties shield its economy from penalties.

Tehran reacted swiftly to Bolton's departure, with a Rouhani aide saying it signaled Washington's pressure was failing.

The nuclear deal was struck in 2015 between Iran and six major powers - the UN Security Council's permanent members Britain, China, France, Russia and the U.S., plus Germany. "The behaviors and the objectives of the regime are not going to change, and therefore, the only solution is to change the regime itself".

He stressed the need to work on everything that can reduce the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East, so as to ensure worldwide peace and security. "It's up to him (Trump) to make those decisions".

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. What happens next remains unclear.

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