Iran says no to Trump-Rouhani meeting at UN

Tehran rules out meeting between Iranian president and Donald Trump at sidelines of UN General Assembly opening this month.

David Rosenberg ,

Hassan Rouhani
Hassan Rouhani

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani will not meet with President Donald Trump in New York later this month, a Iranian Foreign Ministry official announced Monday.

Speaking with reporters Monday morning, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Seyyed Abbas Mousavi said that his government had ruled out a meeting between President Rouhani and President Donald Trump at the sidelines of the opening of the United Nations General Assembly this month.

“Such a meeting is not on our agenda,” said Mousavi, “and we don’t think it will happen in New York.

Mousavi also said that Iranian Foreign Ministry Mohammad Javad Zarif will likely accompany Rouhani to the United Nations.

“If [necessary] grounds are provided, the foreign minister will depart for New York along with the president to attend the United Nations General Assembly.”

The announcement came after President Trump said Sunday that reports he was willing to meet with Rouhani with no preconditions were “fake news”.

“The Fake News is saying that I am willing to meet with Iran, ‘No Conditions.’ That is an incorrect statement (as usual!),” Trump tweeted.

Trump recently expressed an openness to meeting Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, though the Iranian President made clear that he will not meet Trump unless all sanctions against Tehran are unilaterally lifted by the US.

The President further stated that he had "no problem" with holding a meeting with Rouhani hours after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu revealed the existence of another secret nuclear facility in Iran.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Tuesday that Trump could meet Rouhani with “no preconditions”, but he also stressed the US would be “maintaining the maximum pressure campaign” on the Islamic Republic.

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin made clear last week that there are currently "no plans" for Trump to meet Rouhani.

“Secretary Pompeo, I and the rest of the national security team are executing on a maximum pressure strategy with Iran. There’s no question that it’s working. We have cut off their money. And that’s the reason why if they do come back to the negotiating table, they are coming back,” he added.