US President Donald Trump waited on the phone for Iranian President Hassan Rouhani who refused to join the call with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron, the New York Times reported Monday.
Macron was close to brokering a phone call between Trump Rouhani on the sidelines on the UN General assembly last week, but the French president’s secretive effort fell apart because of the Iranian leader’s lack of trust in the US president, according to the report.
Trump was waiting on the line, but Rouhani left him hanging, The New York Times elaborated. “President Trump waited on the other end.” All Rouhani had to do “was come out of his hotel suite and walk into a secure room where Mr. Trump’s voice would be piped in via speaker. But he refused to do so, and therefore “Mr. Macron left empty-handed and Mr. Trump was left hanging.”
Officials said Macron had arranged for technicians to install a secure line in Rouhani’s New York hotel suite for a three-way conference call last Tuesday evening, but when the French president arrived at the suite and proposed the call, Rouhani refused to participate.
The report said that after Trump’s fiery speech to world leaders earlier last Tuesday in which he called to defund “Iran’s bloodlust,” Rouhani was skeptical the US president would comply with Tehran’s demands to lift sanctions in exchange for renewing dialogue.
He also “feared Trump would exploit their call for positive media coverage,” the NYT reported.