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Rouhani says planned 2019 meet with Trump sunk by US demands to publicize talks

Then-Iranian president Hassan Rouhani addresses the United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters in New York on September 25, 2019. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images/AFP)
Then-Iranian president Hassan Rouhani addresses the United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters in New York on September 25, 2019. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images/AFP)

Former Iranian president Hassan Rouhani reveals that a planned meeting with then-US president Donald Trump on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in 2019 was scuppered by Trump wanting to publicize the meeting ahead of time.

The Iranian news site Aftab quotes Rouhani as telling confidants that he was concerned about Trump manipulating the news.

“Trump insisted that he should break out the news about the meeting. But I knew he was an actor. He was not an ordinary man. He was acting all the time. A good actor. I was worried that he might announce the meeting and then disrupt the game,” Rouhani says.

“But at the last minute, we decided that there was no chance for an honest dialogue with Trump on equal footing,” he says.

Rouhani adds that if it was former US president Barack Obama, he would have met him.

French President Emanuel Macron had tried to broker the meeting and a compromise over the nuclear deal.

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