President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that he had no plans to meet with Iranian leader Hassan Rouhani at the United Nations “despite requests” to do so.
“Maybe someday in the future. I am sure he is an absolutely lovely man!” Trump tweeted just hours before both leaders were set to speak at the UN General Assembly, and four months after the US president ditched the Iran nuclear deal.
Despite requests, I have no plans to meet Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. Maybe someday in the future. I am sure he is an absolutely lovely man!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 25, 2018
Trump withdrew from the nuclear deal in May to the dismay of European allies, Russia and China which had invested years in negotiations to achieve a milestone agreement on keeping Iran’s nuclear ambitions in check.
Rouhani earlier said that as a precondition for any dialogue, Trump would need to repair the damage done by exiting the nuclear deal.
“That bridge must be rebuilt,” said Rouhani.
The United States maintains that it is seeking to ramp up pressure on Iran which it accuses of sowing chaos in Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Lebanon.
In his General Assembly address, Rouhani was to stress that Iran continues to stick to the 2015 deal and portray the United States as a pariah for breaking its international commitments.