Trump's Softer Line On Iran Could Tank Oil Prices

Michael Gruber  Getty Images Olivier Douliery-Pool  Getty Images Samantha Lee  Business Insider

Michael Gruber Getty Images Olivier Douliery-Pool Getty Images Samantha Lee Business Insider

Even as the removal of national security hardliner John Bolton triggered speculation that Trump might soften his approach to Iran, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo joined Israel in alleging "possible undeclared nuclear activities" by Tehran, and the USA administration imposed new terrorist designations on leaders of some groups linked to the Islamic republic.

Ali Shamkhani, a top Iranian security official and secretary of the Supreme National Security Council, said Bolton's exit has "no impact" on how Tehran views USA policy.

Bolton's departure, analysts say, increases the potential for a diplomatic breakthrough between Iran and the Trump administration, but sanctions relief remains a requirement for Iranian officials to enter into negotiations with Washington.

This comes while White House spokesman Judd Deere had said on September 5 that during a conversation with Macron, Donald Trump had stressed that sanctions against Iran will not be lifted at this point.

When it came to unwinding previous USA policies Trump viewed as a nuisance, Bolton eagerly executed for the president over the objections of career diplomats and defense officials.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said at a Cabinet meeting that Iran's policy of resistance will not change as long as its enemy continues to put pressure on Tehran.

Rouhani, in a phone call with French President Emmanuel Macron later Wednesday, repeated his position that if Europe finalizes a way for Iran to sell its oil, Iran would return to the nuclear deal's commitments.

Iran's ambassador to the United Nations, Majid Takht Ravanchi, made the comment on Wednesday, following the departure of US President Donald Trump's national security advisor, John Bolton, from the US administration. Washington has since imposed what the administration calls a policy of "maximum pressure", including sanctions aimed at halting all Iranian oil exports.

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Earlier this year, Trump also blacklisted the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), a branch of the Iranian military, as a terrorist group.

Iran says it hopes to save the deal but can not do so indefinitely if it gets none of its economic benefits.

But the president's desire to end America's long-standing military conflicts and strike deals with longtime USA adversaries, such as Iran and North Korea, exposed sharp differences between the two men that lingered under the surface.

Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif slammed the United States for ordering new sanctions on Iran despite Bolton's departure. On Wednesday, he said that "if necessary, we will take other steps in future". A longtime proponent of military-backed regime change in Iran, Bolton's departure was announced by Trump in a Tuesday tweet.

But, speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Trump gave a vague hint that detente could be on the way. "We'll see what happens", he said, when asked about easing sanctions on Iran, with a view to meeting Rouhani at the UN General Assembly later this month. He was sacked the next day. You look at so numerous things that are happening. "They all want to talk", Trump said.

A senior Iranian official says talks with the United States are out of the question as long as U.S. economic sanctions on Iran remain in place.

Regarding Iran, Brodsky said that "it is too early to gauge the impact".

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