Tehran rejects rumors of Rouhani-Trump meeting in New York

August 31, 2019

TEHRAN – Presidential chief of staff Mahmoud Vaezi has rejected speculations that President Hassan Rouhani may meet with his American counterpart Donald Trump in New York next month.

There are no plans for a meeting between Rouhani and Trump in New York, Tasnim quoted Vaezi as saying on Saturday.

On August 26, President Rouhani expressed readiness to negotiate with anyone if that would help resolve Iran’s problems.

“If I knew that going to a meeting and visiting a person would help my country’s development and resolve the problems of the people, I would not miss it,” he had said. “Even if the odds of success are not 90% but are 20% or 10%, we must move ahead with it. We should not miss opportunities.”

Vaezi said Rouhani’s remarks did not suggest a meeting with Trump at all.

The president was trying to highlight the administration’s efforts to settle the problems and promote social welfare without any political intentions, he added.

On August 27, President Rouhani ruled out the possibility of talks with Washington, saying the United States must lift all its cruel sanctions against Iran and begin respecting the nation’s rights as a “first step” towards dialogue.

He stressed that the Islamic Republic will not engage in any negotiations for the mere sake of photo ops.

“We seek to resolve issues and problems in a rational way but we are not after photo ops. For anyone wanting to take a picture with Hassan Rouhani, this is not possible” unless that party chooses to set aside all the oppressive sanctions and respect the Iranian nation’s rights, the president said.

Tensions started to build up between the U.S. and Iran after Trump withdrew Washington from the 2015 deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), in May 2018, and imposed sanctions against Tehran in a bid to put maximum pressure on the Islamic Republic. 

The Trump administration has also made empty calls for talks, but the Islamic Republic maintains that as long as the sanctions are in place and the U.S. refuses to return to the JCPOA, it will not negotiate with Washington.

MH/

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