Trump may meet Iranian president: Pompeo
September 23 2018 11:35 PM
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo

QNA Washington

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Sunday that President Donald Trump is ready to meet with his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly this week.

"I think the president's been pretty clear about that. He's happy to talk with folks at any time," Pompeo said on NBC's Meet the Press, adding that the communicating task now lies with Rouhani.

Russia has not been useful to the foreign policy objectives of the United States, Pompeo said.

US President Donald Trump will address the UN General Assembly tomorrow and host a UN Security Council meeting on Wednesday.

The Iranian presidency revealed on July 18 that US President Donald Trump had asked to meet his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani eight times, but Rouhani refused to meet Trump, during the visit of the Iranian president last year to New York to participate in the works of the UN General Assembly.

Trump's administration is set to impose fresh sanctions on Iran targeting the country's crude industry on November 4. The US is reimposing sanctions on the Middle Eastern nation as part of its withdrawal from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

Russia stands ready to hike its oil output after the implementation of US sanctions on Iran, the country's energy minister told CNBC on Sunday.

"I don't think we can discuss the exact number at this point but what I can tell you for sure is that we have significant potential to increase our production," Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak told CNBC's Steve Sedgwick at the Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee (JMMC) in Algiers on Sunday.

"So we can restore production to October 2016 levels and we cannot go above that but we would be looking at the overall supply-demand balance before we take any decisions."

Earlier in the month, Novak criticized US sanctions on Iran as "unproductive" and "wrong," and said there "will be consequences".

Companies that rely on access to Iran's oil market have been steadily cutting off their buying of Iranian crude as the State Department has warned firms to cease purchases by early November.

"We are all jointly as a group exerting effort to be able to achieve a balanced market, which means acting both when there is deficit and when there is surplus in order to counter those trends," Novak said.

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