Does Bolton's departure push 'B-team' into a corner?
US President Donald Trump on Tuesday pushed out John R. Bolton, one of the most prominent Iran hawks in his cabinet.
Iran Press/Commentary: Bolton’s abrupt ouster as US national security adviser, drives hopes of cooling down fears of military confrontation with Iran and a partial easing of Trump's failed 'maximum pressure' campaign on Iran.
But is it what's supposed to happen? Will Trump’s Iran policy fundamentally alter after an Iran hawk left the chessboard?
With his hardline views on Iran, Bolton joined the Trump administration in April 2018.
Trump’s third national security adviser, wanted to aggressively confront Iran and just after one month on the job, he gave his boss the final push he needed to withdraw from the landmark Iran Nuclear Deal -- otherwise known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
Bolton, who has openly and passionately argued in favour of bombing Iran, saw the deal as an obstacle to his drive for a regime change war with Iran.
Since walking away from the deal, the US stepped up sanctions pressure on Iran, hoping that ever-increasing pressure will force Iran to negotiate a new deal to replace the JCPOA.
Tensions between Tehran and Washington subsequently increased, as the result of the stubborn persistence of failed maximum pressure against Iran.
Bolton never got his long-sought war with Iran, forced to leave the White House, but Trump doesn’t intend to relent in his maximum pressure campaign against Iran.
“I think you know we've done more sanctions on Iran than anybody,” the US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told reporters Tuesday, in a joint press briefing with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
But for many, including an adviser to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Bolton's departure shows the failure of US 'maximum pressure' against Tehran.
“The marginalization and subsequent elimination of Bolton is not an accident but a decisive sign of the failure of the U.S. maximum pressure strategy in the face of the constructive resistance of Iran,” Hesameddin Ashena said in a tweet on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Iranian government spokesman Ali Rabiei said in a tweet that “John Bolton had promised months ago that Iran would last for another three months. We are still standing and he is gone.”
But Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said he would rather not issue any statement on Bolton’s departure.
“We will not be issuing any statement on US internal affairs,” said Zarif answering a question about Bolton’s firing.
Now the so-called 'B-team' made up of John Bolton, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, has lost one of its members.
Without the lifelong warmonger, 'B-team' may be weaker than before but it could still goad Trump into a conflict with Tehran.
Moreover, it seems that sanction-addicted America is not ready to leave the Iranophobia policy and to stop its economic terrorism against the Iranian nation.
So there is little opportunity for de-escalate tensions between Iran and the US as long as the so-called 'maximum pressure' continues.
"As long as the US maintains its sanctions against Iran, there will be no negotiations between Tehran and Washington," Iran's permanent representative to the United Nations in New York, Majid Takht-Ravanchi said Tuesday referring to the departure of Bolton. 101/211