U.S President, Donald Trump, on Friday said Iranian President Hassan Rowhani wanted to meet him at the UN in September, but Washington refused to partially lift sanctions on Tehran as such, the meeting did not hold.

“They were trying to set up a meeting but he wanted sanctions lifted.

“Rowhani wanted a meeting at the UN. He wanted sanctions lifted, or partially lifted, and I said no,“ Trump said.

However, there was intense speculation leading up to the UN General Assembly as to whether the two presidents would make history for a discussion on issues such as nuclear weapons and wars in Middle East.

Trump himself at a point indicated he would be up for meeting Rowhani, even as tensions between the two adversaries worsened, notably following an attack on a Saudi Arabian oil plant which Washington blamed on Tehran.

In 2018, Trump withdrew the U.S from the multi-national 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, which was meant to prevent Tehran from obtaining weapons of mass destruction and that saw the lifting of sanctions on the Islamic republic.

Since withdrawing unilaterally, that angered Washington’s European allies, Trump also re-imposed a strict sanction regime on Iran aimed at crippling the country’s economy.

Iran has since begun to enrich uranium at higher levels, signaling it would not abide by the 2015 deal if the U.S is violating the agreement and imposing sanctions.

Meanwhile, European nations had been trying to salvage the deal.dpa

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