Trump denies willingness to meet Iran leader with 'no conditions'

Kellyanne Conway

Enlarge Image Kellyanne Conway REUTERS

The statement comes as a recent spate of drone attacks on oil facilities in Saudi Arabia have heightened tensions between Washington, its regional allies and Iran, which Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has accused of being responsible. "That is an incorrect statement (as usual!)", Trump tweeted. This development has heightened tensions between Iran and the U.S. as Secretary of State Michael Pompeo has blamed Tehran for the attack.

Iran said on Monday there would be no meeting between Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and his USA counterpart Donald Trump at the United Nations, Iranian state television reported, after the White House on Sunday left open the possibility of a potential meeting.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said on Monday that "this meeting will not happen" and called reports about a potential face-to-face between Trump and Rouhani as mere "speculation". And Pompeo told reporters days earlier that "the president has made clear he is happy to take a meeting with no preconditions".

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White House counselor Kellyanne Conway on Sunday pushed back on the idea of a meeting, saying that while Trump "will always consider his options", there has been no commitment to sit down with Rouhani.

Arch-foes Tehran and Washington have been at loggerheads since May a year ago when Trump withdrew from a 2015 nuclear deal and began reimposing punitive measures.

He was referring to a commission within the framework of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, a 2015 agreement that gave Iran the promise of relief from sanctions in return for curbs on its nuclear program.

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But she added the U.S. government will continue with its "maximum pressure campaign in Iran".

Following this, Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin both had said that Trump was willing to sit down with Rouhani with no conditions.

The attack Saturday on Saudi Arabia's Abqaiq plant and its Khurais oil field led to the interruption of an estimated 5.7 million barrels of the kingdom's crude oil production per day, equivalent to over five percent of the world's daily supply.

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