Tuesday, 17 September, 2019

Trump's Softer Line On Iran Could Tank Oil Prices

National security adviser John Bolton outside the West Wing of the White House in April National security adviser John Bolton outside the West Wing of the White House in April
Jean Garcia | 12 September, 2019, 13:40

Two of Donald Trump's top lieutenants said Tuesday he is ready to meet his Iranian counterpart without preconditions after the USA president sacked his hawkish national security advisor, while insisting there will be no easing of pressure on Tehran. Bolton is a controversial figure closely linked to the 2003 invasion of Iraq and other aggressive USA foreign policy decisions.

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

Tehran welcomed the sacking of Bolton, with Rouhani saying the USA should distance itself from "warmongers".

This comes while White House spokesman Judd Deere had said on September 5 that during a conversation with Macron, Donald Trump had stressed that sanctions against Iran will not be lifted at this point. Mr. Bolton infuriated Pyongyang and stunned others in the administration when he said the USA was looking for a "Libya-style" model for the North Koreans - even though Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi lost his power and then his life after agreeing to give up his nuclear programs in a deal with the George W. Bush administration. Although, it is unknown if Iran would agree to such a meeting, the United States has been preparing for the meeting to potentially take place at the United Nations General Assembly later this month.

Meanwhile, mysterious attacks on oil tankers near the Strait of Hormuz, the downing of a US military surveillance drone by Iran and other incidents across the wider Middle East have exacerbated the crisis in the region as Tehran tries to pressure Europe to find a way to sell crude oil overseas despite USA sanctions.

Dermer otherwise lavishly praised US President Donald Trump for his increased sanctions on Iran as well as for other moves, including moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem and recognizing Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights. Bolton said that he left voluntarily, while Trump and White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham insist that he was sacked.

"Even if Trump is willing to do some kind of sanctions-relief or reduce sanctions, the key thing is that it has to materialise before any kind of meeting sit-down or negotiations", Toossi told Middle East Eye. "Warmongers should be dismissed and the policy of maximum pressure should be set aside".

Red Sox 'parting ways' with president Dave Dombrowski
Porcello, who took the loss against the Yankees on Sunday, and his teammates learned of the move as the game ended. As of Monday, September 9, Boston is 17.5 games out in the AL East, and 8 games behind in the Wild Card race.

Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif slammed the United States for ordering new sanctions on Iran despite Bolton's departure. "As I understand it, it was received this morning", he said during a White House briefing on new sanctions against terrorist supporters - a briefing Bolton was scheduled to attend.

In July, Iran abandoned two of its commitments under the deal by allowing its stockpile of enriched uranium to exceed the 300-kilogram limit and breaching the cap on the purity of its uranium stocks.

Mr. Bolton's departure could open the way for more low-key, lower-level contacts between Washington and Pyongyang to better lay the groundwork for the next Trump-Kim summit.

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

Bolton would become Trump's third national security adviser a month later.

Trump's decision Tuesday was to fire Bolton.

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