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The chances of meeting Trump and Rouhani in New York are dim

UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON (OBSERVATORY) — The chances of a meeting between US President Donald Trump and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani while in New York next week for UN General Assembly meetings have dimmed since an attack on two Saudi oil facilities.

As the world waits to see what happens next and with Washington and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres suggesting that the UN Security Council have a role after Saturday’s attack, some attention has shifted to when and how it can do so.

Asked if the United States would refer the issue to the UN Security Council, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said: “I am confident that we will talk a lot about it in New York and that the Saudis will do that as well.”

“We would like to find a peaceful solution, I think we have already made that clear,” Pompeo said on Thursday.

The United States and Saudi Arabia blame Iran for the attack on two oil facilities, one of the world’s biggest oil processing plants, and the two countries have said they will provide evidence.

The Yemeni-aligned Houthi movement claimed responsibility for the attack. The Houthis have been fighting a Saudi-led coalition in Yemen since 2015.

Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the United Nations, Abdullah al-Muallimi, said in a letter he wrote to the council on Wednesday and seen by Reuters officially informing the attack that he was inviting UN experts to take part in the investigation.

“All the initial indications are that this attack was not carried out from Yemeni territory and that the weapons used are Iranian-made,” he said in the letter.

UN experts monitoring the UN Security Council on compliance with UN sanctions against Iran and Yemen traveled to Riyadh and warned Guterres that any major confrontation in the Gulf would have “catastrophic consequences” for the region and the world.

“I don’t think there is a more serious threat to peace and security in the world today than in the Gulf,” Ban told reporters. This is an area that I am fully confident that the Security Council has a pivotal role to play in.”

“This policy of extreme pressure is aimed at changing Iran’s behavior,” said a senior European diplomat, who asked not to be named. Quite the opposite is happening and Iran will not bow to the United States for a better deal. So the choice now is to be realistic and return to a logical approach, ”he said, referring to Washington’s extreme pressure policy with Tehran.

An Iranian official close to the office of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the Iranian establishment was united on resisting US pressure.

“Eye for eye and age for age. They believe that with sanctions they can confine us to a corner. Overly optimistic thinking. Whenever they press Iran, we will fight back. Iran is a big country with a lot of resources and can continue without oil money.”

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