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Zarif says he was sanctioned for refusing to meet Trump

Iran’s foreign minister claims he was warned in New York that if he refused to meet Trump at the White House he would be sanctioned.
Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif arrives to attend a news conference in Tehran, Iran August 5, 2019. Nazanin Tabatabaee/WANA (West Asia News Agency) via REUTERS. ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. - RC16176AD180

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif claimed that President Donald Trump took the unusual step of sanctioning him because he refused to meet the president at the White House. 

During an Aug. 5 press conference, Zarif was asked by reporters about his meeting with Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) while he was in New York. “I was told that in two weeks I would be sanctioned unless I agreed” to meet at the White House, Zarif said. He did not tell reporters why he refused the meeting but said, “From the beginning, when I am in New York I am engaged in meetings and speeches.” Zarif said that he often meets with reporters, intellectuals and members of congress but made clear he does not meet with officials from the “American executive branch.” 

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