Published: Thu, September 12, 2019
Markets | By Otis Pena

Rouhani Says US 'Warmongering' against Iran Will Fail

Rouhani Says US 'Warmongering' against Iran Will Fail

Iran's president urged the US on Wednesday to "put warmongers aside" as tensions roil the Persian Gulf amid an escalating crisis between Washington and Tehran in the wake of the collapsing nuclear deal with world powers.

On Wednesday, Bloomberg cited sources, saying that Trump earlier this week, on Monday, discussed easing sanctions on Iran with an aim to secure a meeting with Iranian President Rouhani, which caused National Security Adviser Bolton to argue against it and eventually resign.

If Tehran sees optimism in Bolton's ouster, some hawkish U.S. lawmakers warned that easing the squeeze on Iran would be an enormous mistake, enabling Europe to, in Senator Ted Cruz's words, "send an economic lifeline to the Ayatollah".

Rouhani's website quoted him on Wednesday as further urging the United States to "abandon warmongering and its maximum pressure policy" on Iran. "Both. must be abandoned", Rouhani told a meeting of his cabinet, according to the government's Twitter account.

The diplomat said Trump's decision to dismiss Bolton - a hard-liner accused of pushing Trump toward war against Iran - was a matter for the Americans.

Trump past year pulled the United States out of the nuclear deal and intensified sanctions on Iran.

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". But it also soon clashed with Mr. Trump's desires to withdraw USA forces from undesired conflict zones and to persuade foreign nations to take more responsibility for global security, even if it means pressuring allies to pay more for their own defense.

"From the perspective of Iran's government, parliament and people, with the sanctions still in place, negotiations with America have no meaning", Rouhani said, quoted by the state broadcaster IRIB.

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Legacy: While Bolton influenced a shift toward using financial and military pressure around the globe at the National Security Council, former administration officials said he was unable to build a policy process that aligned with Trump. "Thirst for war -maximum pressure- should go with the warmonger-in-chief (Bolton)".

Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif slammed the United States for ordering new sanctions on Iran despite Bolton's departure.

It's not clear that the Trump administration is willing to lift all sanctions - that would likely be viewed as a shocking climb down - but Iran is leaving open the door for negotiations.

In response, Iran has in recent months crept past the limits the nuclear deal imposed on uranium enrichment and its uranium stockpile.

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. "And that's why, before 2019, we here will celebrate in Tehran!".

An about-face regarding sanctions and a restart of negotiations would divide Republicans and USA hardliners in the national security establishment.

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

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