06:16 GMT +314 October 2019
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    U.S. President Donald Trump speaks with reporters on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, U.S., before his departure to Camp David, August 30, 2019.

    Trump Slams Reports Alleging 'No Conditions' US-Iran Meeting Are 'Fake News'

    Yuri Gripas
    US
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    US President Donald Trump said earlier that he has not ruled out the possibility of meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani during the 74th session of the UN General Assembly in New York.

    On Sunday, Trump cried 'Fake news', blaming media reports alleging his possible meeting with Iranian leaders would occur without preconditions.

    The US president's latest comment contradicts earlier statements that were made regarding Iran by senior officials in his administration.

    Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told CNBC on Thursday that "there is no plan for the president to meet with him [Iranian President Hassan Rouhani], although the president has said that he is prepared to meet with no conditions”.

    US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that Trump and Rouhani could potentially meet later in September. "He is prepared to meet with no preconditions", Pompeo stressed.

    The head of the media office of the Iranian mission to the UN, Alireza Miryousefi, said Friday that a meeting between Trump and Rouhani was not expected during the UN gatherings in New York.

    Tehran and Washington have been at odds for more than a year following the unilateral US withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) accord, also known as Iran nuclear deal, and reimposing tough sanctions against the Islamic republic.

    US-Iran relations hit a new low this summer when several oil tankers were mysteriously attacked in the Persian Gulf. The United States immediately accused Iran of sabotage. Tehran denied they were responsible.

    Trump's new narrative comes on the heels of recent drone attacks against the two largest oil fields in the world. In the early hours of Saturday, two Saudi Aramco plants, in Abqaiq and Khurais, were attacked, leading to fires and a production suspension of 5.7 million barrels of crude oil per day - about half of the kingdom's total daily production - prompting WTI (West Texas Intermediate) and Brent oil prices to immediately soar.

    Yemen's armed Houthi political opposition faction claimed responsibility, although Pompeo accused Iran of the attacks. Tehran has refuted the US allegations.

    Saudi Aramco's oil facilities were attacked mere days after Trump floated the idea of lifting sanctions against Iran during a discussion with former National Security Adviser John Bolton who ultimately opposed the Trump's offer. Trump subsequently fired Bolton, stressing, however, that the two had "strong" disagreements.

    Bolton has long held a hard-line stance on Iran and opposed negotiating with the nation. It was during his tenure that the United States in 2018 withdrew from the Obama-era Iran nuclear deal, re-applied heavy sanctions on Tehran, and launched a massive military buildup in the Persian Gulf.

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    Tags:
    Saudi Aramco, meeting, Rouhani, iran, Donald Trump
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