Iran on Monday ruled out the possibility that its president, Hassan Rouhani, would meet with President TrumpDonald TrumpOhio Republican who voted to impeach Trump says he won't seek reelection Youngkin breaks with Trump on whether Democrats will cheat in the Virginia governor's race Trump endorses challenger in Michigan AG race MORE when the two leaders attend the United Nations General Assembly next week.
“Neither is such an event on our agenda, nor will it happen. Such a meeting will not take place,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said on state-run media, according to Reuters.
The announcement comes just a day after White House counselor Kellyanne ConwayKellyanne Elizabeth ConwayPsaki defends move to oust Trump appointees from military academy boards Defense & National Security: The post-airlift evacuation struggle Conway and Spicer fire back at White House over board resignation requests MORE left open the possibility Trump would be open to a meeting.
Mousavi’s remarks follow attacks on two major oil facilities in Saudi Arabia over the weekend, for which Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen have claimed responsibility. The United States, however, has accused Iran of being behind the attacks, a claim Tehran previously condemned as “unacceptable,” Reuters noted.
Iran has rejected attempts to hold a meeting with the U.S. as it is saddled with crippling sanctions, which Trump reimposed last year when he pulled out of the Obama-era nuclear deal.
An Iranian government spokesman, Ali Rabiei, also said on Monday that “stopping all sanctions is an indispensable precondition for constructive diplomacy. We hold meetings when we are sure that our people’s problems can be solved.”
“Sanctions must be lifted, and the United States must respect the Iranian nation,” Rabiei added, according to Reuters.
Trump on Sunday night refuted reports that he is willing to meet with Iran with "no conditions," contradicting what both Secretary of State Mike PompeoMike PompeoChristie, Pompeo named co-chairs of GOP redistricting group America needs a new strategy for Pacific Island Countries Harris to hold fundraiser for McAuliffe ahead of Virginia governor's race MORE and Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven MnuchinMenendez, Rubio ask Yellen to probe meatpacker JBS The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Goldman Sachs - Biden rallies Senate Dems behind mammoth spending plan Mnuchin dodges CNBC questions on whether Trump lying over election MORE have said in recent days.
Trump also tweeted Sunday that the U.S. is “locked and loaded” while it awaits verification from Saudi Arabia regarding the origin of the attacks on the Saudi oil facilities.