Amid United States ramping up sanctions, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has decided to close the door on meeting with US President Donald Trump. Addressing the UN General Assembly on Wednesday, Rouhani said, “I would like to announce that our response to any negotiation under sanctions is negative”. This has come despite last-minute efforts by French President Emmanuel Macron to ease out tensions between Washington and Tehran. Macron was trying to arrange the historic encounter between Trump and Rouhani that could have reduced the tensions.
“How can someone believe them when the silent killing of a great nation, and pressure on the lives of 83 million Iranians, especially women and children, are welcomed by American government officials?” “The Iranian nation will never, ever forget and forgive these crimes and these criminals,” Rouhani added.
Earlier, Trump while addressing the UNGA had already ruled out any possibility of easing economic pressure on Iran. Rather, his administration was stepping up sanctions, he added.
Tensions between Iran and US ratcheted up after the Trump administration announced that it would unilaterally force all countries to stop buying Iran’s oil, which is its major export.
Moreover, the United States blamed Iran for an attack earlier this month on the oil infrastructure of rival Saudi Arabia. France, Britain and Germany this week said they agreed with the US findings.
Last year, the relations between Washington and Tehran soared after US President Donald Trump pulled out of a nuclear accord with Iran, negotiated under former president Barack Obama.
The United States also imposed sanctions on Iran’s sovereign wealth fund, whose board of trustees includes President Hassan Rouhani, as well as Etemad Tejarate Pars, a company that the Treasury Department said had sent money internationally on behalf of Iran’s defence ministry.