Following the departure of former national security adviser John Bolton, a known war hawk, from the Trump administration, Iran President Hassan Rouhani warned the United States to "put warmongers aside."
What did Iran say?
"Americans have to realize that warmongering and warmongers are not to their benefit," Rouhani said in a televised address on Wednesday. "They should not only abandon warmongering but also abandon their maximum pressure policy."
Bolton was outspoken in his distaste for the Iranian regime, and had reportedly spoken out against the U.S. government meeting with representatives of the Iranian regime. He let the administration on Tuesday, although the accounts given by Bolton and the White House of how this came to be are contradictory and mutually exclusive. Bolton said that he left voluntarily, while Trump and White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham insist that he was fired.
What about meeting with Iran?
Bloomberg News reported on Wednesday (citing "three people familiar with the matter") that Trump had expressed interest in lessening sanctions on Iran in an effort to get them to agree to further negotiations. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin reportedly supported the idea. The Treasury Department is in charge of implementing economic sanctions.
On Wednesday, Trump seemed to confirm at least part of this reporting, when he told reporters "we'll see what happens" instead of denying it. In 2015, Trump had bashed former President Barack Obama for lifting some sanctions on Iran, declaring on Twitter "We must DOUBLE sanctions!"
Just as I predicted, while Obama lifted sanctions 18 months ago, Iran cheated & increased its nuclear fuel by 20%. We must DOUBLE sanctions!— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1433360170.0
This seems to fit with comments that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a news briefing on Tuesday, when he said that Trump was "prepared to meet [with the Iranians] with no preconditions."
Pompeo's announcement came just two days after President Donald Trump revealed that he had planned to hold a meeting with the Taliban at Camp David just three days before Sept. 11.
"Unfortunately, in order to build false leverage, they admitted to an attack in Kabul that killed one of our great great soldiers, and 11 other people. I immediately cancelled the meeting and called off peace negotiations. What kind of people would kill so many in order to seemingly strengthen their bargaining position?" Trump asked in a tweet.
The United States has been at war with the Taliban for the past 18 years, after it sheltered terrorist leader Osama bin Laden and collaborated with Al Qaeda.
....an attack in Kabul that killed one of our great great soldiers, and 11 other people. I immediately cancelled th… https://t.co/y8kye41ORQ— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1567896678.0