Washington DC, Sep 18: United States President Donald Trump has on Tuesday said he was not looking forward to meeting his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani on the sideline of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) conference later this month, as tensions between the nations escalated after the US blamed Tehran for recent assault on Saudi Arabia oil plants.
“I’m not looking to meet him. I don’t think they’re ready yet but they’ll be ready,” Trump said. “I never rule anything out but I’d prefer not meeting him,” he added, according to Reuters.
On Monday, Iran said President Hassan Rouhani will be not meeting his United States counterpart at the United Nations (UN), a few hours after White House stated it left doors open for the potential nuclear dialogues between Rouhani and President Donald Trump, according to Reuters.
In remarks cited by state-run television, Iran’s foreign ministry spokesperson Abbas Mousavi said: “Neither is such an event on our agenda, nor will it happen. Such a meeting will not take place.”
Iranian officials have reiterated their refusal to a meeting and any possible dialogues with the US while Tehran is still under strict US sanctions, which Trump re-imposed post withdrawing from 2015 landmark international Iranian nuclear accord, inked between Tehran and world powers to curb Iran’s nuclear programme in exchange of sanctions relief.
Earlier, Iran has slammed the US allegations as “unacceptable” for allegedly holding it accountable for an assault on Saudi Arabia oil plant, after Washington stated it was “locked and loaded” for any possible response. The attacks were claimed by Yemenis Iran-backed Houthi rebels.
Kellyanne Conway, the White House adviser, has on Sunday said the attacks on Saudi oil plant “did not help” prospects for a potential meeting two nuclear leaders on the sidelines of the UN general assembly, scheduled to begin this month, but however, she left doors open for possible meeting between Trump and Kim.