Iran says US must ‘abandon war mongers’ following Bolton’s dismissal

Iran urges US to ‘put warmongers aside

Opinion: John Bolton got the boot. So much for Trump's 'team of rivals'

Two of Trump's top lieutenants on Tuesday indicated he was ready to meet the Iranian president without preconditions, after the United States leader sacked his hawkish national security adviser John Bolton.

Bolton had for years been critical of Tehran and once promised before an Iranian exile group that they'd be celebrating the overthrow of Iran's government this year. The pro-reform Shargh daily newspaper had one large headline that read: "Bolton: A scapegoat for Iran?"

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

"I would say Secretary Pompeo and myself and the president are completely aligned on our maximum pressure campaign".

During a cabinet meeting on Wednesday, Rouhani pressed the United States to "abandon warmongering and its maximum pressure policy" on Iran, and warned that failing to reverse course would further degrade Tehran's commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal. He has also long called for pre-emptive strikes on Tehran to destroy its nuclear programme.

Although Trump had said in the past that he was open to talks with Iranian officials, Bolton's departure has raised hopes about such meeting.

Rouhani spoke after a Cabinet meeting Wednesday, a day that saw all major newspapers in Iran cover Bolton's departure.

Last year, Trump pulled the US out of the landmark 2015 nuclear deal that lifted sanction on Iran in exchange for caps on Iran's nuclear program.

"The marginalisation and subsequent elimination of Bolton is not an accident but a decisive sign of the failure of the United States maximum pressure strategy in the face of the constructive resistance of Iran", Hesameddin Ashena tweeted.

"I think we have to see some sort of sanctions relief", Slavin said.

Toossi added that Bolton's firing was a "good sign", but a change in personnel would be meaningless without a change in policy to go along with it.

Zarif has often said that a so-called "B-team" including Bolton could goad Trump into a conflict with Tehran.

The secretary of state has not always meshed perfectly with his boss, including Mr. Trump's surprise recognition of Israeli control of the Golan Heights and the president's cut of foreign aid programs to Central American nations.

Iran will not negotiate with the United States while sanctions on Tehran are still enforced by Washington, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani told his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron in a phone call on Wednesday, according to Iranian state media.

North Korea has denounced Bolton as a "war maniac" and "human scum".

The deal, known formally as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), has been at risk of falling apart since Trump unilaterally withdrew from it and reimposed sanctions on Iran. In the past Bolton had proposed using military force to overthrow the country's ruling dynasty.

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

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