US President Donald Trump on Tuesday said that he does not want to meet his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani on the side lines of the UN General Assembly sessions in New York next week. “I never rule anything out, but I prefer not meeting him,” Trump told reporters. Earlier, the White House had said Trump may still meet his Rouhani, despite the US accusing Iran of masterminding drone attacks on Saudi Arabian oil facilities.
Trump speaking to reporters said, “I know they are not doing well as a country. Iran has got a lot of problems right now but two and half to three years ago they were causing a lot of trouble... and we’ll see what happens.”
Trump said certain conditions had to be met for talks with the Iranians.
“The biggest thing you can talk about are the sanctions, and the sanctions are massive. There’s never been sanctions put on a country like that. I think they have a tremendous future, but not the way they’re behaving,” he said.
Last year, US President Donald Trump pulled the US out of an international accord designed to curb Iran’s nuclear program and has reimposed sanctions on Iran in an effort to force it to renegotiate the agreement.
Tensions soared in the Gulf in June and July amid attacks on oil tankers, Iran’s downing of an unmanned US surveillance drone and after the US said it had downed an Iranian drone. Trump has said the attack against the US drone prompted him to order a military strike in response, only to call it off at the last minute.
Responding to a question, Trump said the evidence from the recent attack on the oil units in Saudi Arabia indicated foul play from Iran.
“It’s looking that way. We are having some very strong studies done, but it’s certainly looking that way at this moment. And we’ll let you know. As soon as we find out definitively, we’ll let you know. But it does look that way,” he said.