Trump mulls $15b bailout plan for Iran if complies with nuclear deal

John Bolton firing empowers Mike Pompeo, opens door for Trump diplomacy

But Mr. Pompeo's personal rapport with Mr. Trump, his willingness to defend the administration in the media and his determined campaign never to show daylight between himself and the president on major issues are likely to take on new significance with Mr. Bolton gone.

On Wednesday, Trump seemed to confirm at least part of this reporting, when he told reporters "we'll see what happens" instead of denying it.

"As the world. was breathing a sigh of relief over ouster of #B_Team's henchman in the White House, (Washington) declared further escalation of #EconomicTerrorism (sanctions) against Iran", Zarif tweeted. Rouhani said as long as sanctions remain, "negotiating with the us makes no sense".

"I am deeply saddened that he has left the administration and am anxious about what it might signal vis-à-vis our willingness to negotiate with Iran, said Sarah N. Stern, founder and president of the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET)".

The United States on Tuesday announced sanctions on a "wide range of terrorists and their supporters", including Iran's Revolutionary Guards. "Thirst for war - maximum pressure - should go with the warmonger-in-chief", Zarif wrote.

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.

Bolton fiercely opposed the idea, Bloomberg said, citing three anonymous sources.

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif made similar calls for a U.S. policy U-turn, tweeting on Wednesday that Washington's "thirst for war" should end with the departure of its "warmonger-in-chief" Bolton.

While the State Department has energetically implemented Mr. Trump's "maximum pressure" campaign against Iran after the withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal, Mr. Pompeo has been careful to leave room for Mr. Trump's expressed wish for a possible personal diplomatic overture along the lines of his North Korea policy.

Washington says the agreement reached by Trump's predecessor Barack Obama was too weak because many of its terms expire in a decade and it does not cover non-nuclear issues such as Iran's missile program and regional behavior. The U.S. administration later also intensified sanctions on Iran, slashing its sales of crude oil overseas and sending the country's economy into freefall. Bolton claims that he'd actually resigned before Trump's announcement.

Despite Trump's previous calls for dialogue with Iran, Toossi said Washington has not been genuine in its push for diplomacy as it continued to impose "unprecedented" sanctions on Tehran. And we're not looking for regime change.

"The departure of Bolton definitely sends a strong signal to the Iranian regime that Trump is serious about engagement", Macaron told MEE in an email. Bolton famously wrote in 2015, before Iran's nuclear deal was struck, an op-ed in The New York Times headlined: "To Stop Iran's Bomb, Bomb Iran".

Twelve months on from the United States pullout, Iran began taking steps back from the deal.



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