Iran Says Bolton's Departure Will Not Push It Into Talks With U.S.

Firing of U.S. national security adviser will not change anything so long as sanctions against Iran remain in place, Tehran's UN envoy is quoted as saying by state media

Iranian President Hassan Rohani and former U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton.
Cliff Owens/AP, AFP

Iran said on Wednesday the firing of John Bolton as U.S. national security adviser will not push Tehran to reconsider talks with the United States.

"The departure of U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton from President Donald Trump's administration will not push Iran to reconsider talking with the U.S.," state news agency IRNA quoted Tehran's United Nations envoy Majid Takhteravanchi as saying.

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He added there was no room for talks with the United States while sanctions against Iran remain in place, IRNA said.

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Iran's President Hassan Rohani urged the United States to end its policy of "maximum pressure" on his country, and said Tehran would cut its commitments to a 2015 nuclear deal further if necessary, state TV reported.

"The United States should understand that militancy has no profit and must abandon its policy of maximum pressure on Iran ... Iran's commitments to the nuclear deal is proportional to other parties and we will take further steps if necessary," Rohani was quoted as saying.

Trump announced on Tuesday that he had fired Bolton, who served in his position for a year and a half. Trump wrote on his Twitter account that the two had disagreements over policy questions, and therefore he informed Bolton "that his services are no longer needed at the White House." 

Trump added: "I asked John for his resignation, which was given to me this morning. I thank John very much for his service. I will be naming a new National Security Advisor next week." 

Bolton was considered the most hawkish among Trump's senior advisers, especially regarding Iran.

Hours after the announcement of Bolton's firing, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly that Trump could meet Rohani before the end of the month. The president is willing to meet his Iranian counterpart “with no preconditions,” he said.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif constantly referred to Bolton as one of the "three B's" – three people who according to Zarif are pushing Trump towards war with Iran, Bolton, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. 

Offering a different version of events, Bolton tweeted: "I offered to resign last night and President Trump said, 'Let's talk about it tomorrow.'"

Bolton, who was Trump's third national security adviser, was also known to have pressed the president for a harder line on North Korea, Russia and Afghanistan.