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Trump Says He Rejected Iran Demands And Called Off Rouhani Meeting

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to the media on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, October 4, 2019,

President Donald Trump has confirmed that U.S. and Iranian officials discussed a possible meeting or call with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani at last week's U.N. General Assembly, but he insists he was the one who called off the plans.

Trump told reporters Friday that "our sides talked" but says Iran wanted sanctions relief as a condition for the meeting. He says, "I said you must be kidding." Trump added, "Rouhani wanted a meeting at the U.N."

Trump was responding to reports that it was the Iranian side that balked at the presidential conversation while at the U.N.

Various media reports following the U.N. General Assembly described events during September 23 and 24, when they said Rouhani failed to take a phone call by French President Emmanuel Macron and Trump.

Both Macron and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson met with Rouhani and urged him to take advantage of the U.N. gathering and speak with Trump.

In New York last week, Rouhani urged the United States to cease its "policy of maximum pressure" on his nation, saying it was driving the possibility of negotiations even further away.

Reporting by the Associated Press