What Happened: The U.S. government has begun preparations for a meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly later this month, Bloomberg reported Sept. 11, citing people familiar with the matter. Trump reportedly pushed on Sept. 9 to offer limited sanctions relief for Iran in exchange for a meeting, prompting pushback by then-national security adviser John Bolton.
Why It Matters: Now that Bolton, an outspoken proponent of a maximum pressure strategy against Iran, has departed the White House, the Trump administration appears willing to finalize a meeting between Trump and Rouhani as quickly as possible. The United States will also likely offer Iran limited sanctions relief in exchange for the meeting or Tehran's commitment to freeze or reduce some aspects of its nuclear program.
Background: Iran has rejected any potential meetings with the United States, while Rouhani has emphasized that he will not sit down with Trump unless Washington removes or suspends its sanctions on Tehran.
- Iran May Be Weak, But Its Strategy Is Working (Sept. 12, 2019)
- How Bolton's Removal as U.S. National Security Adviser Will Shape U.S. Foreign Policy (Sept. 10, 2019)
- Iran: Tehran Takes Another Hit at What Remains of the Nuclear Deal (Sept. 6, 2019)