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EXISTING GRAPHICS MAY BE OVERWRITTEN BY CLIENT'S OWN GRAPHICS BUT NO FURTHER EDITS ARE PERMITTED, INCLUDING FOR LENGTH** Tensions soared between the US and Iran at the United Nations Wednesday, as European and other leaders pushed for a breakthrough in the nuclear standoff between the nations.
(SOUNDBITE) (Farsi) IRANIAN PRESIDENT, HASSAN ROUHANI SAYING: "On behalf of my nation and state, I would like to announce that our response to any negotiation under sanctions is negative." In his address to the UN General Assembly, Iran's president, Hassan Rouhani, appeared to close the door on any possible negotiations in the near future between Tehran and Washington.
And Rouhani warned the world that the Gulf region is on the verge of collapse, if the U.S does not ease its economic sanctions targeting Iran's oil sector.
(SOUNDBITE) (Farsi) IRANIAN PRESIDENT, HASSAN ROUHANI SAYING "Our region is on the edge of collapse, as single blunder can fuel a big fire." The standoff between the rivals has been escalating, with the U.S. blaming Iran for the recent strike on Saudi Arabian oil facilities that shook the Gulf region and global oil markets.
Iran denies that it was behind that attack.
Rouhani's speech came a day after President Trump blasted Iran for what he called its rising aggression and vowed to increase sanctions on Tehran.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, SAYING: "No responsible government should subsidize Iran's blood lust.
As long as Iran's menacing behavior continues sanctions will not be lifted.
They will be tightened." Just minutes before Rouhani's speech to the General Assembly, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced bruising new sanctions against Iran's biggest oil customer - China.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE, MIKE POMPEO, SAYING: "Today we are imposing sanctions on certain Chinese entities for knowingly transporting oil from Iran contrary to United States sanctions." Trump walked away from the 2015 nuclear deal last year, saying he wants a new agreement that would put stricter restrictions on Iran's atomic program and ballistic missile work.
But Rouhani has insisted the U.S. should give more in return for greater concessions.
Despite the growing tensions, France and the UK had hoped Trump and Rouhani would meet face to face while both in were in New York.
Sources tell Reuters the chance of that happening is zero.