- Iran has claimed its president turned down a meeting with Donald Trump
- The request was supposedly made the day after the U.S. president was highly critical of Iran in his U.N. speech
- Iranian President Rouhani has repeatedly criticized Trump's rhetoric and actions on the nuclear deal
- Americans on Twitter are siding with Iran over its refusal to meet with Trump
by Rosie Alfatlawi
“Can’t say I blame them” was the response of one American on Twitter to claims that the Iranian President Hassan Rouhani turned down a meeting with his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump.
The suggestion was made by an Iranian foreign ministry spokesperson on Sunday.
“A request indeed was made by the U.S. side but it wasn’t accepted by President Rouhani,” Bahram Ghassemi said, according to semi-official Iranian news agency ILNA.
Ghassemi repudiated suggestions that French President Emmanuel Macron had offered to mediate talks between the two.
The White House later denied the Iranian account, telling The Hill that it “is false.”
Former U.S. President Obama spoke to Rouhani by phone in 2013 in what was the most considerable contact between Iranian and U.S. leadership in decades.
Trump’s administration apparently sought the meeting in September, the day after he had slammed Iran in his speech to the U.N. General Assembly in New York.
In his comments, the U.S. president had demanded that “Iran's government must stop supporting terrorists, begin serving its own people, and respect the sovereign rights of its neighbors.”
He also said that “the Iranian government masks a corrupt dictatorship behind the false guise of a democracy.”
At the time, Rouhani lambasted Trump’s speech in a series of tweets.
Ugly, ignorant words were spoken by the US president against the Iranian nation. Full or hatred & baseless allegations and unfit for #UNGA— Hassan Rouhani (@HassanRouhani) September 20, 2017
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In his U.N. address, Trump had also reiterated his criticism of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, which he called “an embarrassment” and “one of the worst and most one-sided transactions.”
Earlier this month he refused to recertify the pact, leaving U.S. Congress to decide whether to reimpose sanctions.
He claimed that Iran was not following the spirit of the landmark agreement, contradicting the U.N. nuclear watchdog IAEA, which has confirmed Tehran’s compliance.
Iran’s Rouhani responded to the move by saying that it made clear that the U.S. is “more than ever isolated in its opposition to the nuclear deal.”
“Apparently he doesn’t know that this agreement is not a bilateral agreement solely between Iran and the United States,” he continued.
In a reflection of Trump’s growing unpopularity among many at home, many ِAmericans on Twitter sided with Iran over its president’s supposed refusal to meet with POTUS.
The Iranian leader is now the sane one— marcia smilack (@marciasmilack) October 30, 2017
Wait till we get a competent President before meeting...besides the usual translator you'd need one to translate adult to kindergarten ...— Matthew May (@TweetMatthewMay) October 30, 2017
According to Newsweek, polls show that Trump is the “least popular U.S. president ever.”
Others suggested it was a reflection of the U.S.’s fall from grace under Trump that Iran had refused the request.
How bad are you to get Iran to not want to talk with you ?— Kevin Lange (@vinotamu) October 30, 2017
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