10:28 GMT +316 October 2019
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    Trump Says He Would ‘Prefer’ Not to Meet with Iranian President

    © AFP 2019 / NICHOLAS KAMM
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    US President Trump on Tuesday said he would prefer not to meet with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly next week amid the recent escalation of tensions in the Middle East region.

    Trump had previously left the door open to speaking with Rouhani at the gathering of world leaders in New York City next week, but his comments while on his way to fundraisers in California appeared to remove that possibility.

    “I never rule anything out, but I prefer not meeting him,” Trump said aboard Air Force One.

    Earlier on Monday, Iran also dismissed the possibility of a meeting at the upcoming United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo publicly blamed Tehran for the attack in Saudi Arabia. Trump also said in the Oval Office that the US is still assessing the fallout from an attack on two oil sites in Saudi Arabia. The US president said Iran was likely behind the weekend attacks but decided not to make any accusations until US officials completed an analysis of the evidence.

    Trump also said Monday that diplomacy hadn’t been exhausted on Iran, telling reporters, “I know they want to make a deal,” shifting from his weekend comments when he said the US was “locked and loaded” after the attacks but awaiting final confirmation from Saudi Arabia.

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    meeting, USA, Iran, Hassan Rouhani, Donald Trump
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