TEHRAN    -  Iran’s president has urged the US to “put warmongers aside” after the dismissal of John Bolton as national security adviser, with tensions remaining high in the Gulf.

Hassan Rouhani’s remarks signalled approval of Donald Trump’s decision to remove Bolton, who had been hawkish on Iran and other global challenges.

Rouhani’s website quoted him as further urging Washington to “abandon warmongering and its maximum pressure policy” on Iran. He was speaking at a cabinet meeting in Tehran.

An Iranian government spokesman said Bolton’s dismissal could help the US have a “less biased” attitude towards Tehran.

Though he stressed the dismissal was an internal US issue, Rabiei called Bolton “the symbol of America’s hawkish policies and its animosity toward Iran”. Bolton was critical of any potential talks between Trump and Iran’s leadership and persuaded the president to keep US forces in Syria to counter Iranian influence in the region.

Last year, Trump pulled the US out of the landmark 2015 nuclear deal that lifted sanctions on Iran in exchange for limits on the country’s nuclear programme. The US administration later intensified sanctions on Tehran, slashing its sales of crude oil abroad and sending the country’s economy into freefall.

In response, Iran has crept past the limits the nuclear deal imposed on uranium enrichment and its uranium stockpile. Tehran announced at the weekend that it would use advanced centrifuges prohibited under the agreement.

Meanwhile, attacks on oil tankers near the strait of Hormuz, the downing of a US military surveillance drone by Iran and other incidents across the wider Middle East have exacerbated the crisis in the region, as Tehran tries to put pressure on Europe to find a way to sell crude oil abroad despite US sanctions.

Rouhani has called the use of faster centrifuges a “third step” away from the nuclear deal. On Wednesday, he said that “if necessary, we will take other steps in future”.