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Trump Says 'Iranian Leadership Wants To Meet'

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at a ceremony marking the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, at the Pentagon in Washington, September 11, 2019

President Donald Trump has once again signaled that a meeting with President Hassan Rouhani in September is a possibility. He told reporters on September 12 that Iran’s leadership wants to meet.

"I can tell you that Iran wants to meet," he told reporters at the White House.

Despite repeated tough statements from Tehran, Rouhani continues phone discussion with French President Emmanuel Macron about a deal that would reduce tensions with the West and pave the way for a meeting with Trump. The latest such telephone conversation took place earlier this week.

Trump in turn has repeatedly said he is willing to talk with Iran without preconditions but has so far rebuffed a plan by Macron to agree to reduce economic sanctions reimposed in 2018.

However, some analysts believe the departure of former National Security Adviser John Bolton this week can make a compromise more likely.

While Trump periodically reiterates his willingness to talk, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in an interview on September 12 said that there is no current plan for Trump to meet with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani at the United Nations General Assembly in New York later this month and added that Washington will keep its policy “maximum pressure” against Iran intact.

With reporting by AFP