No Talks With US While Sanctions In Place: Rouhani

Jim Watson—AFP

Two of Trump's top lieutenants on Tuesday indicated he was ready to meet the Iranian president without preconditions, after the USA leader sacked his hawkish national security adviser John Bolton.

Significantly, the latest moves towards diplomacy with Tehran come as Trump fired hawkish National Security Advisor John Bolton.

Rouhani's website quoted him as urging the USA to also abandon the "maximum pressure policy" on Iran.

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

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.

A senior Iranian official says talks with the United States are out of the question as long as USA economic sanctions on Iran remain in place.

Appreciating the French President for his efforts, Rouhani referred to Iran's third step in reducing its JCPOA commitments and emphasized "Iran's third step is under the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency, and it is reversible".

"The enemy imposed "maximum pressure" on us".

Trump's top aides suggested Tuesday that the U.S. president could meet Iranian President Hassan Rouhani without preconditions.

Still, even with Bolton out of the picture, Trump is still left with a wide-ranging sanctions apparatus targeting Iran. "Warmongers should be dismissed and the policy of maximum pressure should be set aside".

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For his part, Zarif again used Twitter to write about what he calls the #B-Team, which included Bolton, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, all hawks on Iran.

Takhteravanchi said there was no reason to engage in talks while the USA sanctions against Iran remain in place.

Earlier this month, France said it planned to offer Iran a $15bn line of credit if it starts fully complying with the nuclear accord again.

Toossi added that Bolton's firing was a "good sign", but a change in personnel would be meaningless without a change in policy to go along with it.

The 2015 deal was struck after concerns from the USA and its allies that the nuclear program, which Iran insisted was for civilian use, aimed to produce weapons.

"The declared policy of the United States of America should be the overthrow of the mullahs' regime in Tehran", Bolton told a cheering crowd of MEK supporters in March 2018. "And that's why, before 2019, we here will celebrate in Tehran!".

He stressed the need to work on everything that can reduce the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East, so as to ensure worldwide peace and security.

"I don't back away from any of it".

Trump's decision Tuesday was to fire Bolton.

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