“Nothing’s ever off the table completely, but I have no intention of meeting with Iran, and that doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. I’m a very flexible person,” Trump told reporters at the White House.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union” Sunday that Trump has always left the door open for a meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, but said a meeting between the two world leaders is “highly unlikely given the current circumstances.”
Mnuchin said Sunday that Iran “will be a major topic for the President” at the UN gathering.
Trump announced Friday he had applied new sanctions on two pillars of the Iranian economy, the country’s central bank and its sovereign wealth fund. The Pentagon announced the same day it would send additional troops along with enhanced air and missile defense systems to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
The Trump administration’s focus, the Treasury secretary said, is now on those who violate the Iran sanctions and issuing sanctions on third parties where they see violations. He told Tapper the maximum pressure campaign on Iran is working.
“We have cut off almost all the money to Iran,” Mnuchin said. “I think you see Iran acting in desperation, attacking its neighbors. This is really unprecedented in that sense.”
“I think you know we’ve done more sanctions on Iran than anybody. And it’s absolutely working. Now, the President has made clear he is happy to take a meeting with no pre-conditions, but we are maintaining the maximum pressure campaign,” Mnuchin said at the time.
CNN’s Jason Hoffman and Nicole Gaouette contributed to this report.