Iran rebuffs Rouhani-Trump talks despite Bolton departure

Iran rebuffs Rouhani-Trump talks despite Bolton departure
It follows the departure of Iran hawk John Bolton.
2 min read
11 September, 2019
Iran has rejected possible Trump-Rouhani talks [Getty]
Iran on Wednesday rejected touted talks between President Hassan Rouhani and his US counterpart Donald Trump, despite the departure of Tehran hawk John Bolton.

Two senior Trump aides hinted that the president would be ready to meet Rouhani, to discuss tensions between the two countries ignited by the US' departure from a nuclear deal with Tehran.

"As long as the US government's economic terrorism and such cruel sanctions are imposed on the Iranian people, there is no room for negotiations," Iran's UN envoy Majid Takht-Ravanchi said, according to IRNA.

He said that the US' offer of talks without preconditions would not be accepted so long as Washington keeps up it "economic terrorism", referring to sanctions on Iran.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin stressed the US would maintain its campaign of "maximum pressure" against Iran, but hinted that they could be open to talks with Tehran.

"Now the president has made clear, he is happy to take a meeting with no preconditions, but we are maintaining the maximum pressure campaign," Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said.

It follows the departure of Trump's hawkish National Security Advisor John Bolton, signalling a possibly softer approach to Iran.

Iran said this will not alter Iran's policy towards the US.

"Whether the extremist policy of the US changes or not depends on various factors in US foreign policy," Takht-Ravanchi told ISNA.

"The removal of John Bolton is an internal affair and we don't take stands on domestic issues," he added.