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Trump: No Plans to Meet with Iranian Officials in New York

Trump: No Plans to Meet with Iranian Officials in New York

Sunday, 22 September, 2019 - 16:15
US President Donald Trump speaks to reporters at the White House. EPA photo

US President Donald Trump said Sunday that he has no plans to meet with Iranian officials at the UN General Assembly.

In recent weeks, Trump had weighed the possibility of easing sanctions on Iran and suggested he could meet with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, who is due to attend the General Assembly in New York this week. Rouhani has said that Iran would not talk to the United States until Washington lifted sanctions.

The US has slapped more sanctions on Iran, penalizing the Iranian Central Bank while the Pentagon said it was sending US troops to bolster Saudi Arabia's defenses after an attack on Aramco’s oil facilities.

Trump pulled the United States out of a 2015 nuclear deal with Iran last year and ramped up sanctions to strangle its oil exports, a mainstay of the Iranian economy.

The United States aims to avoid war with Iran and the additional troops ordered to be deployed in the Gulf region are for "deterrence and defense," US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Sunday.

Speaking to Fox News Sunday, Pompeo added that he was confident Trump would take action if such deterrence measures fail and that this was well understood by the Iranian leadership.

"Our mission set is to avoid war," Pompeo said. "We are putting additional forces in the region for the purpose of deterrence and defense," he said.

"If that deterrence should continue to fail, I am also confident that President Trump would continue to take the actions that are necessary," he said.

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, speaking to CNN, said the attack on Saudi oil facilities was an attack on the world economic system. He said the United States expects that any country attached to the US dollar system will abide by the sanctions on Iran.

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