US needs 'serious changes' for possible Iran talks

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The abrupt departure of former U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton from the White House would not suffice for alleviating challenges facing Tehran-Washington potential negotiations, an Iranian political expert said on Saturday.

Bolton, who is a well-known hardliner in the scene of U.S. political affairs, departed from the White House on Tuesday after U.S. President Donald Trump suggested, beside a host of other issues, an ease of restrictions on Iran, including sanctions relief and a possible agreement with a creditline proposal for Iran's oil trade.

French President Emmanuel Macron has proposed providing Iran with 15 billion U.S. dollar credit line to jump-start talks between Tehran and Washington.

Trump has suggested he might sign off on such a proposal, which would require the U.S. to advise financial institutions that they would not face penalties if they facilitate such transactions.

According to the western media, Bolton was strongly at odds with Trump and disagreed over the idea.

Bolton was a leading advocate of the Trump administration's so-called "maximum pressure campaign" aimed at pressuring Iran to negotiation table to ink a new deal on Iran's nuclear program, to curtail Tehran's ballistic missile activities and to brake Iran's pace to influence the region.

Trump withdrew the United States from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal in May 2018 under the pretext that the deal was not comprehensive. Besides, he said that it did not address the development of Iran's ballistic missile projects.

Subsequently, the U.S. administration launched a "maximum pressure campaign" and reinstated sanctions on Iran's economy, mainly on Iran's oil exports.

As a reaction to the U.S. unilateral withdrawal from the nuclear deal, known as Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and its sanctions on Tehran and in a response to Europe's "inactivity" to save Iran's interests under the deal, Iran has, since May this year, decided to scale back its obligations under the JCPOA to build stockpiles of nuclear fuel and enrich low-grade uranium to a higher level of purity.

It also decided to start up advanced centrifuges to boost the country's stockpile of enriched uranium.

Following Bolton's departure, who is called by the Iranian officials a "warmonger," Trump has shown openness for a hoped-for meeting with the Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, perhaps later this month on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly session in New York.

Mohammad Ali Vakili, an Iranian political expert, said Saturday that the recent change in the White House and the reports showed that the United States has accepted parts of Iran's conditions for a possible negotiation on mutual issues.

The new developments would create a "positive atmosphere" as per the resolution of Iran-U.S. disputes, said Vakili.

Iranian officials have stressed that for any talks with the United States over the issues, Washington should return to the Iranian nuclear deal, from which it withdrew in 2018, and implement its obligation under the accord.

On a telephone conversation with his French counterpart on Wednesday, Rouhani stressed that there is no point in talks with the United States as long as it keeps sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

On the day, Trump told reporters that he might be open to sanctions relief on Iran. "We'll see what happens," he said.

Vakili believes that "for any agreement (between Iran and the United States), these changes (in U.S. political texture) are not enough."

The United States should accept that they should consider a range of privileges "including political and economic" for Iran, and this requires "serious changes" in the policies of incumbent U.S. administration, the Iranian expert said. Enditem

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