Trump says ‘probably not’ taking part in Putin’s Iran conference

US President Donald Trump said Saturday he probably wouldn’t take part in an emergency Iran summit proposed by Russian leader Vladimir Putin.

“Probably not, I think we’ll wait till after the election,” Trump said at a news conference at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey.

Putin on Friday called on the permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany to convene on Iran to avoid an escalation of tensions in the Gulf.

China, France, Russia, Britain, the United States, Germany and Iran should take part in the video summit, the Kremlin chief said.

“It’s an urgent issue,” Putin said in a statement released by the Kremlin.

“Discussions at the UN Security Council over the Iranian issue are becoming increasingly tense,” Putin said, adding that Moscow’s ally Iran was a target of “groundless accusations.”

The Security Council on Friday overwhelmingly rejected a US resolution to extend an Iranian arms embargo, in a move with huge repercussions for the Iran nuclear deal.

Only two of the Council’s 15 members voted in favor, highlighting the division between Washington and its European allies since Trump withdrew from the nuclear accord in May 2018.

Since Trump pulled out and slapped unilateral sanctions on Iran under a campaign of “maximum pressure,” Tehran has since taken small but escalating steps away from compliance with the nuclear accord as it presses for sanctions relief.

European allies of the United States — who, along with Russia and China, signed the deal with Iran — have voiced support for extending the 13-year-long conventional arms embargo, saying an expiry threatens stability in the Middle East.

However, their priority is to preserve the nuclear deal.

Iran President Hassan Rouhani said the US had failed to kill off what he called the “half alive” 2015 deal.

“The United States failed in this conspiracy with humiliation,” he said.

:AFP