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Iran Says 'No Plans' for Rouhani-Trump Meet at UN

Iran Says 'No Plans' for Rouhani-Trump Meet at UN

Monday, 16 September, 2019 - 08:15
US President Donald Trump has suggested meeting Iranian leader Hassan Rouhani at a UN meeting in New York | AFP
London- Asharq Al-Awsat
Iran said on Monday there would be no meeting between Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and his US counterpart Donald Trump at the United Nations, Iranian state television reported, after the White House on Sunday left open the possibility of a potential meeting.

"We have neither planned for this meeting, nor do I think such a thing would happen in New York," the foreign ministry's Abbas Mousavi said in remarks aired on state television.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said on Monday that "this meeting will not happen" and called reports about a potential face-to-face between Trump and Rouhani as mere "speculation."

However, the US has said it will remain open for talks with Iran. Trump tweeted Sunday: The Fake News is saying that I am willing to meet with Iran, "No Conditions." That is an incorrect statement (as usual!)"

"As we have stated before, if the Americans return to the JCPOA and cease their economic terrorism, they can return to the joint commission and talk," Mousavi added.

He was referring to a commission within the framework of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, a 2015 agreement that gave Iran the promise of relief from sanctions in return for curbs on its nuclear program.

Mousavi also rejected as "nonsense" remarks by Republican US Senator Lindsey Graham that it was time for the United States "to put on the table an attack on Iranian oil refineries" after the attacks on Saudi oil installations on Saturday that were claimed by Iran-aligned Houthis.

Tensions between the two countries have soared since Trump unilaterally withdrew the US from the JCPOA in May last year and began reimposing crippling sanctions on the Islamic republic.

European powers have been trying to salvage the nuclear accord and de-escalate the situation.

French President Emmanuel Macron has been leading the efforts and proposed a meeting between Rouhani and Trump to defuse the crisis.

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