Rohani Refused Call With Trump in New York, Report Says

According to New Yorker report, Macron paid Rohani an unannounced visit in during UN GA, had technicians set up secure line with Trump in a meeting room on Iranian president's floor

Rohani at UN headquarters in New York City, New York, U.S., September 25, 2019
\ CARLO ALLEGRI/ REUTERS

Iranian President Hassan Rohani rejected an attempt by his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron to have a three-way telephone conversation with U.S. President Donald Trump during the UN General Assembly, the New Yorker reported Monday.

According to the report, Macron paid Rohani an unannounced visit at the Millennium Hilton Hotel near the UN headquarters in New York last Tuesday night, having had technicians set up a secure line with Trump in a meeting room on Rohani's floor.

But Rohani refused to emerge from his room, leaving Macron and Trump hanging, the outlet reported.

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Macron's failed efforts followed Trump's UN speech, in which he said Tehran had "bloodlust" and directly blamed Iran for a recent attack on a Saudi Arabian oil plant.

Rohani addressed the assembly on Wednesday without mentioning the rebuffed phone call. He ruled out talks with Trump unless the United States ended its sanctions on Iran.

Hours later, Trump suspended the entry of senior Iranian government officials and their immediate family members to the United States.

The events came after months of rising tensions in the Gulf region as Iran reels under the impact of Washington's so-called maximum pressure campaign, imposed after pulling out of a 2015 agreement to restrict Iran's nuclear activities.

Macron has been leading European states' efforts to save the nuclear deal. Earlier on Tuesday, the French president was caught on video directing an interpreter to tell Rohani: "If he leaves the country without meeting President Trump, honestly, this is a lost opportunity."