Iran: Rouhani-Trump meeting at UN ‘will not happen’

“This meeting is not on our agenda, and I don’t think it would take place in New York either,” the Iranian spokesman stressed.

By World Israel News Staff  

Iran says a meeting between the presidents of the U.S. and Iran on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly in New York later this month is not on the agenda.

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

“I do not confirm such a meeting. This meeting is not on our agenda, and I don’t think it would take place in New York either,” the spokesman stressed, according to the Tasnim news agency.

He also echoed Rouhani’s remarks that the Iranians would not hold a meeting to be photographed but would look for a definite agenda and tangible results at any meeting, said the private Iranian news outlet.

“As we have already announced, the Americans will be allowed to return to the [JCPOA] Joint Commission… and say what they have in mind if they return to the JCPOA and abandon economic terrorism [against Iran],” Mousavi added, according to the report.

The JCPOA is the acronym for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the official name of the 2015 Iran nuclear accord reached between Tehran and six world powers, including the U.S.

Trump withdrew from the agreement in May 2018.

The spokesman said that Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif will be accompanying Rouhani at the U.N. General Assembly.

The U.S. has said it will remain open for talks with Iran, but 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!)”

However, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Thursday that Trump had made clear “he would sit down with Rouhani with no condition,” and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters days earlier that “the president has made clear he is happy to take a meeting with no preconditions.”

Iran has said it is unwilling to meet with Trump while crushing sanctions are in place over its nuclear program.

Persian Gulf tensions escalated over the weekend following an attack on major oil sites in Saudi Arabia for which the U.S. alleged Iran was responsible – charges that Tehran denies.

Yemen’s Iranian-backed Houthi rebels have claimed that they targeted a Saudi processing facility and an oil field by using drones.

In comments on Sunday, Tasnim noted, White House adviser Kellyanne Conway said that the recent attacks on Saudi oil facilities “did not help” prospects for a possible meeting between the Iranian and U.S. presidents at the U.N., though she left open the possibility that it could still happen.

Conway was interviewed on the Fox News Sunday program.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.