(September 16, 2019 / JNS) Iran said on Monday that President Hassan Rouhani will not meet with U.S. President Donald Trump next week at the U.N. General Assembly, even though Washington has repeatedly stated that it is open to negotiating with Tehran without preconditions. Of course, it would come amid crippling U.S. sanctions on the regime since the United States withdrew in May 2018 from the 2015 nuclear deal.
“Neither is such an event [Trump-Rouhani meeting in New York] on our agenda, nor will it happen,” said Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Abbas Mousavi on state TV. “Such a meeting will not take place.”
Additionally, Mousavi said it was “nonsense” that, as Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said in response to Iran allegedly conducting on Saturday a series of coordinated drone attacks against two Saudi Aramco oil facilities that caused a massive fire, “to put on the table an attack on Iranian oil refineries.”
The attack was claimed by Yemen’s Houthi rebels, but U.S. officials have accused Iran of being behind it. Tehran has been backing the Houthis in Yemen’s civil war, while Saudi Arabia has bolstered Yemen’s government. The Houthis are an Iranian proxy.
Trump said that the United States is “locked and loaded,” suggesting possible military action in the aftermath of the Iranian attacks, which caused oil supplied to decrease by 5 percent and oil prices to skyrocket.
Also in response, Trump authorized the release oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, announced the president on Sunday.
… sufficient to keep the markets well-supplied. I have also informed all appropriate agencies to expedite approvals of the oil pipelines currently in the permitting process in Texas and various other States.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 15, 2019
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