Trump says there’s no plan to meet with ‘lovely’ Iran president

President Trump said Tuesday that he has no plans to meet Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani, whom he described as “an absolutely lovely man,” but signaled he was open to a possible future face-to-face.

“Despite requests, I have no plans to meet Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. Maybe someday in the future,” the president tweeted.

“I am sure he is an absolutely lovely man,” he added ahead of a UN General Assembly session in which he and Rouhani are scheduled to speak.

The Iranian prime minister was expected to stress that Tehran continues to stick to the 2015 nuclear deal that Trump pulled out of and portray the US as a pariah for breaking its international commitments.

Last year, Trump used his UN address to slam the nuclear deal as “an embarrassment,” signaling that Washington was prepared to walk away from the agreement.

Trump put the kibosh on a meeting after the top adviser to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei on Tuesday rejected a US offer for top-level meetings, according to Reuters.

Rouhani also had already rejected a meeting with Trump while in the Big Apple, slamming an offer of talks as “not genuine.”

“Naturally, if someone is keen on having a meeting and holding dialogue and creating progress in relationships, that person would not use the tool of sanctions and threats [and bring] to bear all of its power against another government and nation,” Rouhani told NBC News.

“That means that the necessary willpower is absent in order to resolve outstanding issues,” he added.

A year ago, after a speech in which he slammed Iran at the UN General Assembly, Trump reportedly asked for a meeting with his Iranian counterpart but was rejected.

As a precondition for any dialogue, Rouhani said Trump would need to repair the damage done by pulling out of the 2015 nuclear deal in May, reinstating economic penalties against Tehran and urging other countries to stop buying Iranian oil.

“That bridge must be rebuilt,” he told NBC News.

Rouhani said Tehran would remain in the agreement — known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action — despite the US withdrawal, as long as the other signatories held up their end of the deal to open the door to trade.

“Until such time that our interests are guaranteed with the five remaining countries, we will remain within the JCPOA,” Rouhani said, adding that “a one-sided agreement would be meaningless.”

Meanwhile, Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard also kept up the anti-Washington rhetoric, calling Trump “evil and adventurous” and accusing him of waging economic war on Tehran, Reuters reported.

Trump said in July that he was ready to meet Rouhani without preconditions to negotiate a new deal.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo repeated the offer Sunday and also extended it to Khamenei.

“That’s who’s running the show in Iran. I think that would be an important and interesting conversation,” he told Fox News.

Rouhani has stopped short of ruling out meetings between the two countries, but has faced mounting pressure from hardliners, including the Guard, since Trump pulled out of the nuclear accord.

Asked about the offer of talks, Khamenei’s top aide, Ali Akbar Velayati, said, “Trump’s and Pompeo’s dream would never come to reality,” according to the IRNA news agency.

“The evil and adventurous American president has focused on an economic war and cruel sanctions to deviate the Iranian nation from the revolutionary values and its national interests,” the Guard said in a statement.

With Post wires

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