Trump Administration Insists no Change in Iran Policy
Just hours after relieving from duty his national security adviser, US President Donald Trump again indicated a desire to meet with his Iranian counterpart, Hassan Rouhani. The confluence of events raised speculation that Bolton’s dismissal was partially connected to a possible decision by President Trump to ease US economic sanctions on the Islamic Republic with a view to jump-starting nuclear negotiations. “Now the president has made clear, he is happy to take a meeting with [Rouhani with] no preconditions, but we are maintaining the maximum pressure campaign,” US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin contended. All of this, meanwhile, occurred on the backdrop of Israel’s apparent exposure this week of a previously unknown Iranian nuclear facility located near Isfahan. That, in turn, came on the same day that United Nations nuclear inspectors found traces of uranium at a “secret atomic warehouse” in Tehran exposed last year following a Mossad operation that recovered thousands of atomic-related documents.