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With Bolton’s departure, an Iran hawk leaves the chessboard

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John Bolton’s departure from the White House removes an obstacle to the possibility of US-Iranian nuclear talks, but the odds of such a dialogue leading anywhere remain low, current and former US officials said on Tuesday, Reuters reports.

President Donald Trump fired his national security adviser, a hawk on Iran who as a private citizen had advocated military action to destroy its nuclear program and who disagreed with his boss on policies from Afghanistan to Russia while in office.

Trump’s third national security adviser, Bolton had argued for driving Iranian oil exports to zero and against Trump’s desire to meet Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

“Bolton has been ‘Dr. No’ when it comes to talks with Iran,” Cliff Kupchan, a former State Department official now at the Eurasia Group political risk consultancy, wrote in an analysis.

While Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei probably would not allow a meeting at this month’s UN General Assembly, Kupchan said: “There’s upward pressure on the chance of a meeting. If it does happen, we’d........

© Middle East Monitor