Iran has not made any plans for President Hassan Rouhani to meet his United States counterpart Donald Trump on the sidelines of the upcoming UN General Assembly, a spokesman said Monday. "Such a meeting will not take place", Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said in remarks carried by state TV.
The White House said on Sunday that Trump may still meet Rouhani at the United Nations meeting in NY next week, despite accusations from Washington that Tehran was behind weekend drone attacks on Saudi Arabian oil facilities.
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Iran responded by scaling back its commitments to the multination accord, which gave it the promise of sanctions relief in return for curbs on its nuclear program. "No problem with me", Trump told reporters at the White House.
Speaking to reporters at a weekly press conference in Tehran on Monday, Mousavi ruled out a meeting between Rouhani and Trump, as the Iranian president is going to travel to NY for the annual UN General Assembly meeting.
"The Fake News is saying that I am willing to meet with Iran, "No Conditions".
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Arch-foes Tehran and Washington have been at loggerheads since May past year when Trump withdrew from a 2015 nuclear deal and began reimposing punitive measures.
His denial comes despite several top administration officials, including his Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin specifically saying so in recent days.
On Thursday Mnuchin had moreover acknowledged that Trump "has acknowledged he would sit down down with Rouhani without a instances", with the caveat that there had been no plans to make so but.
Trump denies willingness to meet Iran leader with 'no conditions'
And Pompeo told reporters days earlier that "the president has made clear he is happy to take a meeting with no preconditions". But she added the U.S. government will continue with its "maximum pressure campaign in Iran".
French President Emmanuel Macron has been leading the efforts and proposed a meeting between Rouhani and Trump to defuse the crisis.