By Jonathan Easley - 09/24/13 12:30 PM EDT
Obama and Rouhani do not have plans to meet at the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, but the two could cross paths at the U.N.’s annual luncheon. On Monday, senators from both parties warned the president that he could be walking into a diplomatic trap with Iran, arguing that the country is merely looking to buy time to build out a nuclear weapons arsenal.
The former New York City mayor said Obama’s preconditions should include a nuclear inventory, nuclear inspectors, the release of political prisoners, and an airlift to rescue an estimated 3,000 dissidents.
In a speech to the U.N. on Tuesday, Obama is expected to address Iran and its nuclear weapons program, as well as the civil war in Syria, and other items related to the peace process in the Middle East.
Secretary of State John Kerry is expected to meet with his Iranian counterpart on Thursday. It would be highest-level contact between the U.S. and Iran since the countries broke off diplomatic relations in 1980.
The Iranians have recently made a handful of diplomatic overtures to the U.S., and some have been encouraged by the perceived thaw in relations between the two.