Friday, 20 September, 2019

Israeli ambassador urges U.S. to 'stay the course' on pressuring Iran

Donald Trump on Wednesday warned Iran against further uranium enrichment Donald Trump on Wednesday warned Iran against further uranium enrichment
Ginger Lawrence | 12 September, 2019, 13:42

While the State Department has energetically implemented Mr. Trump's "maximum pressure" campaign against Iran after the withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal, Mr. Pompeo has been careful to leave room for Mr. Trump's expressed wish for a possible personal diplomatic overture along the lines of his North Korea policy.

Bloomberg on Wednesday reported that Bolton forcefully opposed a plan recently to reduce sanctions on Iran as a means of setting up a meeting later this month between Trump and the Iranian president, Hassan Rouhani. Bolton is a controversial figure closely linked to the 2003 invasion of Iraq and other aggressive United States foreign policy decisions.

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

"The president has made very clear he is prepared to meet [Iranian leaders] with no preconditions" in search of a better deal to curb Tehran, Mr. Pompeo said.

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.

Iran has been under crippling USA economic sanctions since the United States unilaterally withdrew lat May from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA, or Iran Nuclear Deal).

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"The departure of. Bolton from President Donald Trump's administration will not push Iran to reconsider talking with the US", Iran's United Nations envoy, Majid Takhteravanchi, was quoted as saying by state news agency IRNA. But it also soon clashed with Mr. Trump's desires to withdraw US forces from undesired conflict zones and to persuade foreign nations to take more responsibility for global security, even if it means pressuring allies to pay more for their own defense.

Separately, Rouhani said Tehran would not negotiate with Washington while sanctions on his country are still being enforced by Washington. It said on Wednesday that Bolton's exit had not changed that position. 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. "Warmongers should be dismissed and the policy of maximum pressure should be set aside". He invited Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif to attend sideline meetings at the G-7 conference in August.

In response, Iran has in recent months crept past the limits the nuclear deal imposed on uranium enrichment and its uranium stockpile.

Britain, France and Germany have been trying to save the nuclear deal and de-escalate tensions between Iran and the United States. Where will Bolton's departure cause changes?

"There was never really a national security process that connected to the president".

"I don't back away from any of it". His last-minute decision in June to refrain from attacking Iran widened the divide between him and Bolton - Bolton was all-in on a military strike. What happens next remains unclear.