Iran's sanction relief proposal by Trump prompted Bolton's departure: Report
Iran Press TV
Sun Sep 15, 2019 03:44PM
The abrupt departure of former US National Security Adviser John Bolton reportedly took place after President Donald Trump proposed the idea of lifting some US sanctions on Iran as an incentive for the Islamic Republic to come to the negotiating table.
Trump suggested easing sanctions against Iran as a means of encouraging Tehran to renegotiate the 2015 nuclear deal, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), but the idea did not sit well with Bolton, according to NBC News citing a source familiar with the matter.
Bolton, a well-known Iran hawk, made clear to the US president during their discussion in the Oval Office on Monday afternoon that he strongly disagreed with the proposal, the source said, adding that he was out as national security adviser the following morning.
Trump announced Bolton's dismissal in a tweet on Tuesday, saying he had "disagreed strongly with many of his suggestions," presumably meaning the hawkish politician's advocacy for regime change in Syria, Venezuela, North Korea and Iran.
This is while Bolton has claimed that he actually decided to quit and was not sacked by the president. He even insisted that he had attempted to resign before Trump's announcement.
Trump had sometimes joked about Bolton's image as a warmonger, reportedly saying in one Oval Office meeting that "John has never seen a war he doesn't like."
Bolton had adopted an aggressive approach towards Iran since his appointment to the top post by Trump. Independent observers have accused him of conniving with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in order to provoke a military conflict between Iran and the United States.
A White House spokesman said deputy national security adviser Charles Kupperman would fill Bolton's role on an acting basis.
The JCPOA was signed between Iran and six world states – namely the US, Germany, France, Britain, Russia and China. Washington, however, left the accord last May, leaving the future of the historic deal in limbo.
Critical of Washington's move, the European parties to the JCPOA vowed efforts to keep the deal in place by protecting Tehran against the US sanctions, but did little in practice.
On May 8, the first anniversary of Washington's unilateral exit from the deal Iran announced its decision to stop exporting excess uranium and heavy water for a 60-day period, during which the remaining sides would have to ensure that Iran is no more deprived of the economic benefits it was promised under the agreement.
Iran, which has been fully complying with all of its commitments despite the US pullout and the European shortfalls, began scaling down its commitments in early July, when a 60-day deadline set by Tehran for the other signatories to fulfill their side of the JCPOA was not met.
Tehran has given the European signatories another two months to take meaningful action to save the JCPOA as a France-led diplomatic process is underway between the two sides.
Tehran says its reciprocal measures will be reversible as soon as Europe finds practical ways to shield the Iranian economy from unilateral US bans.
Despite exerting "maximum pressure" on Iran, Trump has repeatedly offered to meet Iranian authorities and hold bilateral talks with no pre-conditions. Iran, however, says it will not negotiate under pressure.
Multiple US officials have recently voiced the possibility of a meeting between Trump and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. US State Secretary Mike Pompeo said in particular that the two leaders could hold talks on the sidelines of an upcoming UN General Assembly.
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