Report: Rouhani backed out of meeting with Trump

Both Trump and Rouhani had agreed on a four-point document designed to get Iran and the U.S. back to the negotiating table, says POLITICO.

By World Israel News Staff

U.S. President Donald Trump and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani were on the verge of direct communication, but Rouhani pulled out at the last minute, according to a report by POLITICO, citing French sources.

According to the American news outlet, French President Emmanuel Macron, on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly gathering in New York last week, succeeded in getting Trump and Rouhani to agree on a four-point document designed to bring Iran and the U.S. back to the negotiating table.

The four points in the document reportedly included that Iran would “fully comply with its nuclear obligations and commitments and will accept a negotiation on a long-term framework for its nuclear activities.”

Both parties were to “refrain from any aggression and will seek genuine peace and respect in the region through negotiations,” said the report.

The agreement was also to include that the U.S. lift would “lift all the sanctions re-imposed since 2017,” said POLITICO, and that Iran would have the “full ability to export its oil and freely use its revenues.”

However, ultimately the Iranian and U.S. presidents did not meet because Rouhani insisted that Trump first declare that he would lift the U.S. sanctions, according to the officials cited by POLITICO.

As an alternative, Macron tried to arrange a phone call between the two leaders. The time reportedly had even been set: 9 p.m last Tuesday.

However, POLITICO reports, Rouhani refused to participate even in the phone conversation.

For its part, Tehran is blaming Trump for the failure of the French diplomatic effort.

“By maintaining sanctions, Trump showed he is not determined to hold talks,” maintained Ali Rabiei, an Iranian government spokesman, cited by the Iranian Students’ News Agency (ISNA).

“The U.S. is directly responsible that the dialogue was not held…Washington should mend our distrust caused by its withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). But such an attempt is not witnessed in U.S. behavior,” the spokesman added.

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is the official name of the Iran nuclear deal reached in 2015 between Tehran and six world powers including the U.S. Obama administration. Trump announced in May 2018 that Washington was withdrawing from the pact.