Then-national security adviser John Bolton, left, listens to President Trump speak on April 18, 2018. PHOTO by: Pablo Martinez Monsivais, AP

A source close to John Bolton, the former White House national security adviser, said Bolton had a verbal altercation with the US president shortly before he was expelled from the White House.

Iran PressAmerica: The White House former national security adviser's abrupt departure on Tuesday came after US President Donald Trump suggested he might lift some sanctions on Iran as an incentive for Tehran to come to the negotiating table, an informed person close to Bolton said.

The person said Trump raised the idea of lifting sanctions during a discussion with Bolton in the Oval Office on Monday afternoon, but Bolton made clear to the president that he strongly disagreed with the idea, according to Euronews.

Bolton was out as national security adviser the following morning, though he and Trump disagree over who made that decision. The president has said he fired him, while Bolton has said he resigned.

Related news:

Trump fires US National Security Adviser John Bolton

As national security adviser, Bolton was a leading advocate of the Trump administration's so-called "maximum pressure campaign," designed to squeeze Iran's economy until Tehran was forced to concede to US demands to dismantle its nuclear program.

French President Emmanuel Macron has proposed providing Iran with $15 billion in non-US funds. Trump has suggested he might sign off on such a proposal, which would require the US to advise financial institutions that they would not face penalties if they facilitate such transactions.

But the person close to Bolton said the president went further during a 2 pm meeting on Monday in suggesting he would lift US sanctions. The possibility of Iran sanctions relief was in part what prompted Bolton to submit a resignation letter to the president the following morning, this person said.

Trump indicated on Wednesday that he might be open to sanctions relief.

"We'll see what happens," he told reporters when asked about possibly easing sanctions on Iran.

Trump withdrew the US from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal last year.

Tehran's reciprocal steps in JCPOA

Iran began the countermeasures in May on the anniversary of the United States withdrawal from the historic nuclear agreement with major world powers.

On May 8, 2018, US President Donald Trump pulled his country out of the nuclear accord and threatened US sanctions against any international companies that continued to do business with Iran.

As a first step, Iran increased its enriched uranium stockpile to a level above the 300 kilograms set by the JCPOA.

In the second phase, Iran’s Arak heavy-water nuclear reactor — which was agreed to be redesigned under the agreement — resumed its previous activities.

Iran also increased the level of its uranium enrichment, and will no longer stick to the 3.67% limit it had agreed upon in JCPOA.

Reversible steps, ball in Europe court

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the third phase of Iran’s nuclear countermeasures has been so devised to be reversible, as is the case with its previous nuclear responses if Europe meets its nuclear commitments towards Tehran.

“Should they act on their obligations, this step, like the two previous steps, which have already been taken, could be reversed,” Zarif said on Thursday at the airport in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta, where he arrived as part of an Asian tour.

The new measures from Iran would be peaceful, watched over by the United Nations and could be reversed if European powers kept their promises, President Rouhani said. He gave the parties to the deal another two months to fully implement its terms, saying if that happened Iran would return to implementing the agreement. 

Iran has said it won't negotiate with the US until sanctions are lifted.


Read more:

Bolton was 'holding me back!': Trump

Report: Bolton's long-anticipated departure

Thirst for war should go with Bolton: Zarif