Sep 16, 2019

Iran says President Rouhani will not meet Trump at UN General Assembly

President Hassan Rouhani. Photo: Atta Kenare/AFP/Getty Images

Iran on Monday rejected the possibility that President Hassan Rouhani would meet President Trump on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly meeting next week, according to the New York Times.

Why it matters: After Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif made a surprise visit to the G7 summit last month, there was speculation that the two leaders could meet in an effort to de-escalate tensions. Iran's dismissal comes a day after Trump accused Tehran of carrying out an attack on two major oil facilities in Saudi Arabia on Saturday and said that the U.S. is "locked and loaded" while it awaits verification of the culprit.

Go deeper: Saudi coalition says Iranian weapons used in oil attacks

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Trump says U.S. will impose "highest sanctions ever" on Iran's central bank

Iranian President Hasan Rouhani (L) and President Trump. Photo: Adem Altan/AFP/Getty Images; Mark Wilson/Getty Images

President Trump told reporters in the Oval Office on Friday that he had issued the "highest sanctions ever imposed on a country" on Iran's central bank.

The backdrop: His statement comes after he tweeted earlier this week that he had instructed Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to "substantially" increase sanctions against Iran. Beyond Trump's statement in the Oval, the administration has not released any further details.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Sep 20, 2019

Trump's anti-Iran strategy is facing its greatest test

President Trump at the White House on Monday. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

President Trump's anti-Iran strategy increasingly looks like it's facing its greatest test, while his White House waits for a new national security adviser.

The state of play: Evidence out Monday indicates Iranian weapons were used in Saturday's attacks on major oil facilities in Saudi Arabia, which sent oil prices soaring.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Sep 17, 2019

Iran tests U.S. military messaging at UNGA

Iran Foreign Minister Javad Zarif in Istanbul in 2017. Photo: Ozan Kose/AFP/Getty Images

Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif tells Axios that Americans should ask themselves why U.S. soldiers should risk dying to protect Israeli and Saudi interests, and he thinks President Donald Trump is "determined not to get militarily involved" in Iran — but others in his orbit are trying to "drag him into" it.

The big picture: As leaders gather this week at the United Nations General Assembly, Iran and the U.S. are trying to figure out how to out-maneuver one another in a protracted dispute over the Iran nuclear deal, regional aggression, sanctions and oil sales.

Go deeperArrowSep 23, 2019