Tags: obama | meeting | rouhani | denied

White House Denies Obama Meeting With Iran's Rouhani

Monday, 16 Sep 2013 03:06 PM

By Dan Weil

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The White House is denying reports that President Barack Obama plans to meet with Iran's new President Hassan Rouhani.

British and Israeli media reported over the weekend that a get-together could occur outside the U.N. General Assembly meeting in New York next week. Rouhani is set to deliver a speech there next Tuesday.

"There are currently no plans for the president and President Rouhani to meet at UNGA," National Security Council spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan told The Hill in an e-mail.

After Rouhani's election in June, the Obama administration said it would be willing to confer "directly" over Iran's nuclear weapons program. Leaders from the two countries haven't met since diplomatic ties were severed in 1980.

"As we have said, we hope that this new Iranian government will engage substantively in order to reach a diplomatic solution that will fully address the international community’s concerns about Iran’s nuclear program," Meehan said.

"We remain ready to engage with the Rouhani government on the basis of mutual respect to achieve a peaceful resolution to the nuclear issue."

Obama said in an interview Sunday with ABC's "This Week" that the White House has been in touch with Rouhani via letters.

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