Iran again rebuffs United States talk of Trump-Rouhani meeting

Friday, 13 Sep, 2019

While Trump confirmed - and even vaguely entertained - the French credit line proposal in Biarritz, the White House has since ramped up sanctions on Iran and reaffirmed its commitment to its maximum pressure strategy. In practice, that would amount to full removal of USA sanctions - not just oil export sanctions but even banking restrictions. The Bloomberg reporter wrote, Bolton strongly opposed the idea while Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin agreed with the idea.

Still, the measure requires United States approval, which so far has not been granted.

Two of Donald Trump's top lieutenants said Tuesday he is ready to meet his Iranian counterpart without preconditions after the United States president sacked his hawkish national security advisor, while insisting there will be no easing of pressure on Tehran.

Trump past year pulled the United States out of the nuclear deal and intensified sanctions on Iran.

Trump has suggested he would be willing to hold talks with Iran to reach a new deal. "Both. must be abandoned", Rouhani told a meeting of his cabinet, according to the government's Twitter account.

The fall of Mr. Bolton and rise of Mr. Pompeo could play out quickly when world leaders gather for the annual U.N. General Assembly in NY this month.

Iran has rejected talks unless sanctions are lifted first.

Trump abruptly fired Bolton amid disagreements with his hard-line aide over how to handle foreign policy challenges such as North Korea, Iran, Afghanistan and Russian Federation.

Bolton's departure, analysts say, increases the potential for a diplomatic breakthrough between Iran and the Trump administration, but sanctions relief remains a requirement for Iranian officials to enter into negotiations with Washington. It's far from clear if the Iranians would agree to talks while tough American sanctions remain in place.

And just as Iran is not inclined to do Trump any political favors while buried under sanctions, Rouhani is also not about to shoot himself in the foot politically at home.

But for Trump, sanctions against Iran are like tariffs against China: a tool to stretch and strangulate the adversary into submission. So, maximum pressure is a failure in that regard.

"The French are offering Trump a facing-saving way out of a mess of his creation".

Zionist Organization of America president Mort Klein told JNS that Bolton is "a great American patriot, deeply committed to the security of all Americans, and an extraordinary friend of the Jewish State of Israel".

Iran had announced last week as the deadline for it to take further steps to ramp up production of enriched uranium but said it was giving European countries an extra two months to come up with a plan to protect its economy. "Thirst for war - maximum pressure - should go with the warmonger-in-chief", Zarif wrote. Under such circumstances, Rouhani is hardly likely to accept an invitation to meet with Trump.

Trump, who tweeted that he "disagreed strongly" with many of Bolton's policy suggestions, reportedly clashed with the veteran of the four presidential administrations over the withdrawal of American forces from Afghanistan and Syria.