Foreign Policy Digital

Bolton Is Gone, but Tensions With Iran Remain High

The departure of Trump’s hawkish national security advisor raised hopes in Washington, but a sudden thaw with Tehran is unlikely.

The abrupt and acrimonious departure this week of John Bolton, U.S. President Donald Trump’s third national security advisor, has raised plenty of hopes in Washington and elsewhere for a diplomatic rapprochement with Iran.

That’s not at all likely, given the Trump administration’s stated desire to maintain its maximum pressure campaign and the Iranian regime’s repeated refusal to enter negotiations with the current administration. Instead, an economically strangled Iran will likely continue to violate its nuclear commitments under the 2015 deal and possibly seek to reignite confrontation in the Persian Gulf.

Because Bolton was such an unapologetic hawk, his departure has raised hopes for sudden diplomatic on Iran to help pave the way for a meeting between Trump and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. Another suggested Trump would embrace a French plan to establish a $15 billion line of credit for Iran.

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