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The New Arab

Iran's president 'turned down' a meeting with Donald Trump

The US president disavowed a 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran [AFP]

Date of publication: 30 October, 2017

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Iranian President Hassan Rouhani turned down a meeting with President Donald Trump during his visit to New York to attend the United Nations General Assembly in September.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani turned down a meeting with President Donald Trump during his visit to New York to attend the United Nations General Assembly in September, Iran's foreign ministry said on Sunday.

Rouhani allegedly rejected a request from the Americans to meet, ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi said, according to the semi-official ILNA news agency.

"An intention was expressed by the American side that was not approved by President Rouhani," Ghasemi said in reference to the alleged meeting request.

Ghasemi denied earlier reports that French president Emmanuel Macron was ready to mediate a meeting between the two leaders.

In 2013, then US President Barack Obama and Rouhani spoke by telephone, the highest-level contact between the two countries in decades, prompting an outcry from Iranian hardliners.

Since then there has been no such communication between Tehran and Washington, which officially severed diplomatic ties in 1979.

In September, during his first address to the UN General Assembly, Trump lashed out against Iran, saying it must be forced to "end its pursuit of death and destruction" in the region. 

"Above all, Iran's government must stop supporting terrorists, begin serving its own people and respect the sovereign rights of its neighbors," Trump said.

Since then, the US president disavowed a 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran and called on new tougher sanctions on the Islamic republic.

In response, Rouhani slammed Trump's threats in a televised speech on Saturday.

"You are disregarding past negotiations and agreements approved by the UN Security council and expect others to negotiate with you?" Rouhani said.

"Because of the behaviour it has adopted, America should forget any future talks and agreement with other countries," Rouhani said.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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