TEHRAN: The chief of staff to Iran's President Hassan Rouhani today said that his US counterpart Donald Trump asked for a meeting eight times during the UN General Assembly last year.
"During Rouhani's last visit to New York for the UN General Assembly session, Trump asked the Iranian delegation eight times to have a meeting with the president," Mahmoud Vaezi told reporters today, according to the conservative Mehr news agency.
He said the Iranian team had not responded to the requests, which came just after Trump announced he would no longer certify Iran's compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal -- setting the scene for his eventual withdrawal from the pact in May.
"We have a transparent policy and clear position with regard to our relations with the US that (we) will not yield to pressure," Vaezi said.
Tehran said back in October that Trump had requested a sit-down with his Iranian counterpart during the UN meeting, but the claim of numerous requests had not previously been made.
Trump has said he is open to talks on a new deal with Iran that goes beyond its nuclear programme to include its regional behaviour and missile defences.
Iran has said there is no chance of a renegotiation and is working with European and Asian partners to find ways around US nuclear-related sanctions that will be reimposed in the coming months as part of Washington's withdrawal from the 2015 agreement.
A Trump-Rouhani meeting would have been the first between the presidents of the two countries since Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution.