Published: Fri, September 13, 2019
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

Iran again rebuffs U.S. talk of Trump-Rouhani meeting

Iran again rebuffs U.S. talk of Trump-Rouhani meeting

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

During a cabinet meeting on Wednesday, Rouhani pressed the United States to "abandon warmongering and its maximum pressure policy" on Iran, and warned that failing to reverse course would further degrade Tehran's commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal.

Is it a potential thaw between the countries?

Iran also dismissed the possibility of a meeting between Rouhani and US President Donald Trump, hours after the White House signalled it was open to such an encounter.

When asked after Bolton's departure if Trump could meet Rouhani, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo - who for months has rarely missed an opportunity to bash Iran - was strikingly upbeat.

One of Bolton's loudest critics in Tehran, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, refused a request for comment on Wednesday, saying he would "not make any comments on the internal affairs of the United States".

However, the ambassador said in an interview with Iran's state media that there is no room for dialogue with the USA as long as Washington's "unfair" sanctions and "economic terrorism" against Iranian people continue.

Iran said on Saturday it was firing up advanced centrifuges to enrich uranium at a faster rate - its third step back from the 2015 nuclear deal.

"As long as the U.S. government's economic terrorism and such cruel sanctions are imposed on the Iranian people, there is no room for negotiations", he was quoted as saying by state news agency IRNA. The French leader has been trying to convince the United States to offer Iran some sort of relief from sanctions.

For his part, Bolton was a longtime hard-liner on Iran who favored regime change and took money for speaking engagements from an Iranian exile group reviled by Tehran called the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq, or MEK.

Ali Rabiei, a government spokesman, said after the meeting that Bolton's dismissal may help the USA have a "less biased" attitude toward Iran, calling Bolton "the symbol of America's hawkish policies and its animosity toward Iran".

The 2015 deal was struck after concerns from the U.S. and its allies that the nuclear program, which Iran insisted was for civilian use, aimed to produce weapons. But, ultimately, the president didn't follow through on Bolton's policies. And we're not looking for regime change.

Bolton would become Trump's third national security adviser a month later. I'm the national security adviser, not the national security decision-maker. "I am hoping the president does not just surround himself with "Yes men, ' but with a 'team of rivals" on which to bounce ideas".

Mr. Pompeo made no secret Tuesday of the fact that he and Mr. Bolton crossed swords on policy over the past year.

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