16 Sep 2019
Iran has no interest in President Hassan Rouhani meeting U.S. counterpart Donald Trump on the sidelines at the U.N. General Assembly, a Tehran spokesman confirmed Monday.
“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 media outlet Radio Farda.
“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.
Trump downplayed the prospect as well, Tweeting it is not true he is willing “to meet Iran, ‘No Conditions’. That is an incorrect statement (as usual)”.
The Fake News is saying that I am willing to meet with Iran, “No Conditions.” That is an incorrect statement (as usual!).
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 15, 2019
Tension between the respective leaders on the world stage was not helped in June when Rouhani sneered at Trump and his White House team, saying they are “afflicted by mental retardation.”
In 2017, the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei also called Trump “foul-mouthed”, uttering “nonsense,” and “suffering from retardation”.
“The President of the United States displays nonsense; however, this should not lead us to ignore the mischief of the U.S. regime,” Khamenei told a group of students, before taking to Twitter to expand his range of insults further.
I don’t want to waste time on answering the rants and whoppers of the brute US president. It’s a waste of time for anyone to answer him.
— Khamenei.ir (@khamenei_ir) October 18, 2017
The idea of a Trump-Rouhani meeting was floated last month by French President Emmanuel Macron, who has been spearheading European efforts to de-escalate tensions between Iran and the United States.
The arch-foes have been at loggerheads since May last year when Trump withdrew from the flawed Obama-negotiated 2015 JCPOA nuclear deal and began reimposing sanctions on Iran.
Rouhani has previously indicated he is open to holding talks with the Americans, but it is an approach that has faced criticism at home from Iran’s ultra-conservative Islamic leadership.
Follow Simon Kent on Twitter: Follow @SunSimonKent or e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org