'We'll see what happens,' Trump says about possible easing of Iran sanctions

Trump talks about the latest developments, in the Oval Office of the White House. [AP Photo]

on Wednesday warned Iran against further uranium enrichment but left open the possibility the US could lift to pave the way to a meeting with President . Asked if he would ease crippling sanctions to help bring about a meeting with the Iranian leader, Trump replied "we will see what happens."

U.S. Donald Trump on Wednesday left open the possibility the United States could ease sanctions on Iran, adding he believes Iran wants to strike a deal with Washington on its nuclear program.

"We'll see what happens," Trump told reporters at the White House when asked about the possibility the United States would ease up on its "maximum pressure" campaign.

Trump said on Wednesday he was considering five "very highly qualified" people to replace John Bolton as his national security adviser.

Speaking to reporters at the White House, Trump said Bolton, who he abruptly fired on Tuesday, had made some mistakes, including offending 's leader Kim Jong Un by demanding that he follow a "Libyan model" and hand over all his nuclear weapons.

Trump said many people were interested in Bolton's position.

"There are five people that I consider very highly qualified," he said, without naming them. "We'll be announcing somebody next week, but we have some very highly qualified people."

He said he got along well with Bolton and hoped they parted on good terms, but added that the former adviser was out of line on Venezuela, which has been another of the administration's top foreign policy challenges.

While the two were mostly in sync on the need to push Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro from power, Trump had become increasingly impatient at the failure of a U.S.-led campaign of and diplomacy to remove the socialist leader. Trump declined to comment on whether he would meet with Maduro.

Among the names being floated as possible Bolton successors are Stephen Biegun, special U.S. envoy on North Korea; Richard Grenell, U.S. ambassador to Germany; U.S. hostage negotiator Robert O'Brien; and Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan.

Trump was asked whether he would consider easing sanctions on Iran to secure a meeting with its leader President Hassan Rouhani at this month's U.N. General Assembly and replied: "We'll see what happens."

North Korea has denounced Bolton as a "war maniac" and "human scum".

Bolton has proposed using military force to overthrow the ruling Kim family and U.S. officials have said he was responsible for the collapse of Trump and Kim's second summit in Vietnam in February.

Efforts to engage with North Korea nearly fell apart after Trump followed Bolton's advice in Hanoi and handed Kim a piece of paper that bluntly called for the transfer of Pyongyang's nuclear weapons and bomb fuel to the .

The document effectively reprised Bolton's long-held "Libya model" of unilateral denuclearization that North Korea has repeatedly rejected and that analysts said would have been seen by Kim as insulting and provocative.

Trump announced he had fired Bolton a day after North Korea signaled a new willingness to resume stalled denuclearization talks, but then proceeded with the latest in a spate of missile launches.

Analysts say Bolton's removal could help U.S. efforts to revive the talks but will not make Washington's aim of persuading Pyongyang to give up its nuclear weapons any easier.

Trump also welcomed 's decision to exempt some US exports from tariff increases.

"It was a big move," Trump told reporters of the decision.

Top US and Chinese negotiators are due to resume talks in Washington next month after a summer of sharp deteriorations in US-China trade ties.

Beijing spared some US products from tariffs in a move seen as an olive branch ahead of the talks, but high-profile goods like soybeans and pork continue to face higher duties.

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