Trump warns Iran, but doesn´t rule out lifting 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'

If Tehran sees optimism in Bolton's ouster, some hawkish USA lawmakers warned that easing the squeeze on Iran would be an enormous mistake, enabling Europe to, in Senator Ted Cruz's words, "send an economic lifeline to the Ayatollah".

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.

According to a New York Times report earlier this month, which cited a U.S. official and Iranian reports, the proposed sum is aimed at salvaging the accord after Trump withdrew from the pact a year ago and reimposed biting sanctions on Iran, including on its oil sector.

Iranian officials also accused the USA and Israel of "undue pressure" over its nuclear programme and warned it could be "counterproductive" to cooperation with the UN's nuclear watchdog.

Trump is mulling easing sanctions on Iran as a way to increase the odds of a face-to-face meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. Rouhani said as long as sanctions remain, "negotiating with the USA makes no sense".

The French leader has been spearheading European efforts to salvage the nuclear deal between Iran and major powers.

Brian Hook, the U.S. special representative for Iran, said last week more sanctions against Iran were coming and the United States was committed to its campaign of "maximum pressure".

Experts note that the removal of Bolton alone does not necessarily portend an imminent breakthrough in U.S. -Iran relations. For now, Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin said the United States would keep up its campaign of sanctions and military pressure.

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.

When Sec. of State Mike Pompeo was asked on Tuesday whether or not Trump would be willing to meet Rouhani, Pompeo said "Sure.The president's made very clear, he is prepared to meet with no preconditions".

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"We have taken the third step".

At the center of the tension between Trump and Bolton is a difference in ideology.

As Bolton's departure pertains to the U.S. -Israel relationship, Security Studies Group senior fellow Matt Brodsky told JNS that "there are obviously many aspects" to the alliance and "how it will be impacted by Bolton's exit depends on the specific area of policy we're discussing".

"It's too late for the UNGA", he said.

"They have since implemented a series of sanctions that Iran has called "economic terrorism", said Jabbari. For one, the maximum pressure campaign has gone nowhere, and it has pushed Iran out of compliance with the nuclear accord.

Bolton's firing came after he protested the idea, according to the report.

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

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

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

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