Iranian president's purported Twitter account sparks confusion

A Twitter account that publishes news about Iranian President Hassan Rouhani seemed to be lobbying for the leader to meet with President Obama over Twitter Tuesday, sparking confusion about whether Rouhani was himself behind the tweets.

The Dr. Rouhani account quickly clarified, saying it did not speak for the Iranian president.

A different account, followed by nearly 50,000 people, disputed the Dr. Rouhani tweets, and claimed to be the sole social media account for the Iranian president.

NBC News says it has confirmed the account’s authenticity, although it still remains a matter of dispute.

The Hill originally ran a story saying Rouhani had taken to Twitter to lobby for a meeting with Obama at the United Nations on Tuesday, based on the Dr. Rouhani account.

The tweets came amid debate in the U.S. about whether Obama should engage his Iranian counterpart and just hours before their paths may cross at the U.N. General Assembly.

The White House has signaled a willingness to open talks with Iran, after the country made a handful of diplomatic overtures to the U.S., Obama and Rouhani do not have plans to meet, but Secretary of State John KerryJohn Forbes KerryOvernight Defense: Pompeo clears Senate panel, on track for confirmation | Retired officers oppose Haspel for CIA director | Iran, Syria on agenda for Macron visit Senate must save itself by confirming Mike Pompeo Pompeo faces pivotal vote MORE is expected to meet with his Iranian counterpart Thursday.

On Monday, senators from both parties warned the president that the recent thaw was merely a ploy by Iran buy time to build out a nuclear weapons arsenal.

The U.S. and Iran broke off diplomatic relations in 1980.

— This story was first posted at 8:55 a.m. and updated and corrected at 10:25 a.m.