Sunday, 22 September, 2019

"Very Dangerous": Trump Warns Iran But Doesn't Rule Out Lifting Sanctions

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks next to first lady Melania Trump and Defense Secretary Mark Esper during a ceremony marking the 18th anni U.S. President Donald Trump speaks next to first lady Melania Trump and Defense Secretary Mark Esper during a ceremony marking the 18th anni
Russell Knight | 12 September, 2019, 10:48

Zarif has in the past said that a so-called "B-team" including Bolton, an ardent Iran hawk, and conservative Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu could goad Trump into a conflict with Tehran.

Observers say Iran aims to stress its stance of not easily agreeing to dialogue in a bid to get the Trump administration to take concrete steps, including the lifting of sanctions.

Tensions have been escalating between Iran and the United States since May past year, when Trump pulled out of the 2015 nuclear accord with Tehran and began reimposing sanctions that have crippled the Iranian economy.

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"From the perspective of Iran's government, parliament and people, with the sanctions still in place, negotiations with America have no meaning", Rouhani said, quoted by the state broadcaster IRIB. Rouhani said as long as sanctions remain, "negotiating with the US makes no sense".

Iran says it hopes to salvage the nuclear deal but can not do so indefinitely if it receives none of the promised economic benefits.

Iran greeted Bolton's ouster by counselling the United States to shun "warmongers".

"They should not only abandon warmongering but also abandon their maximum pressure policy".

"Iran's third step is under the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency and also has the potential to be reversed", he said.

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The White House has followed what the administration calls a policy of "maximum pressure", including sanctions aimed at halting all Iranian oil exports, saying its ultimate aim is to push Tehran to the table for talks on a new, tougher deal.

But Mnuchin swatted away suggestions that the departure of the hawkish Bolton could signify a more moderate Iran policy, as the administration announced new terrorist designations against leaders of several organizations with close ties to Tehran.

The deal, known formally as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), has been at risk of falling apart since Trump unilaterally withdrew from it and reimposed sanctions on Iran.

Bolton's sacking by President Donald Trump raises the possibility of talks between the two countries after more than a year of escalating tensions.

"It's too late for the UNGA", he said. For one, the maximum pressure campaign has gone nowhere, and it has pushed Iran out of compliance with the nuclear accord.

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. At different times, Trump sought to test diplomatic options with each country, but Bolton aggressively resisted the moves, officials said.

For his part, Bolton was a longtime hard-liner on Iran who favored regime change and took money for speaking engagements from an Iranian exile group reviled by Tehran called the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq, or MEK.

Trump fired Bolton on Tuesday, citing policy disagreements.

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