Macron to meet Trump, Iran's Rouhani at United Nations in NY

Evarado Alatorre
Setiembre 22, 2018

"The reality that United Nations member states ignore at their peril is that Iran has continued to develop and test ballistic missiles", USA special envoy for Iran Brian Hook said during an event at the Hudson Institute think tank in Washington, D.C.

Trump hasn't closed the door on a meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, but the official - who requested anonymity to discuss strategy ahead of the talks next week - stressed that the president isn't actively seeking an audience with Rouhani, either.

The meetings come as Macron and other European leaders try to salvage a landmark 2015 accord to curb Tehran's nuclear programme, which Trump pulled the U.S. out of last May.

Hook blamed Iran's leaders for not being interested in engaging with the US.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo last month formed an organization dedicated to coordinating and implementing US policy toward Iran. "We are coordinating with allies to interdict missile related transfers and target Iranian missile proliferation activities in third countries".

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As President Donald Trump prepares to meet with world leaders at the United Nations next week, his administration is signaling it will use the gathering to take a hard line against Iran, an issue that could further divide the US from its allies.

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has ruled out talks with the U.S., for now. The agreement, negotiated by the Obama administration and the leaders of five other nations, required Iran to curb its nuclear program in exchange for reduced sanctions.

"That's their position, we respect that", he said, but added that Washington will proceed with its plans. "We have a sanctions regime that is underway, stronger measures are yet to come".

The Trump administration's new adviser on Iran pressed European allies Wednesday to join the United States in adopting a hardline stance against Tehran, making the appeal ahead of next week's United Nations General Assembly in NY.

The US re-imposed sweeping sanctions against Iran last month, and a new round of even harsher sanctions is set to go into effect November 5 targeting Iran's vital oil sector.

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