Rouhani : Iran never requested meeting with Trump
Iran's President Hassan Rouhani says he has never asked for talks with his American counterpart, Donald Trump, stressing that such a meeting would not be appropriate.
Rouhani made the remarks in an interview with CNN on Tuesday during his stay in New York for the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly.
The Iranian president was reacting to Trump's tweet on Tuesday, in which he tried to suggest that he had turned down requests to meet the Iranian president, but that he may agree to talks someday in the future.
However, Rouhani strongly dismissed Trump's claim, saying that the Islamic Republic had not requested a meeting between the two leaders.
Not this year, nor last year, he told the CNN. We have never made such a request for a meeting with the president of the United States.
Rouhani also noted that while Iran had received eight requests from US officials for a meeting last year, he did not think talks between the two sides were appropriate, then or now.
Commenting on being called a lovely man by Trump, Rouhani said the US president is merely playing with words and will not get us to any solutions.
The remarks come amid a diplomatic standoff between Washington and Tehran after Trump pulled his country out of the 2015 Iran deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), despite objections from the other signatories to the accord.
Besides re-imposing the anti-Iran sanctions it had lifted under the accord, the Trump administration has also been seeking to put even more economic pressure on the Islamic Republic by threatening the European firms doing business with Tehran with punitive measures.
Elsewhere in his interview, Rouhani said the remaining parties to the JCPOA have indicated their desire to salvage the agreement, but have so far fallen short of expectations.
Iran says the signatories to the JCPOA need to bear the cost of standing up to US sanctions in order to keep the deal alive following Washington's unilateral and illegal withdrawal.
Tehran has emphasized that it will stay in the nuclear accord only if it is provided with practical guarantees that its economic dividends of the deal will remain intact.
Takfiri terrorism biggest threat to Islam
Meanwhile, the Iranian chief executive also met with leaders of US Muslim communities in New York.
Rouhani described Takfiri terrorism as the biggest threat to the holy faith of Islam, and called on Muslims across the globe to help demonstrate the true image of their religion to the world.
Daesh's crime was not and is not solely killing people. The Daesh terrorists did not oppress people of the region with their acts alone," he said, adding that they also did immense harm to the image of Islam as a religion.
The president highlighted Iran's role in countering the Takfiri terrorists in Syria and said the Arab country's future should be decided by its own people at ballot boxes.
Source: Press TV