By Jeff Mason
UNITED NATIONS, Sept 24 A potential encounter at
the United Nations between U.S. President Barack Obama and
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani failed to take place on Tuesday
as the Iranians indicated it was too complicated, senior Obama
administration officials said.
"There will be no meeting," one official said.
The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told
reporters that Obama had been open to a meeting with Rouhani
while both were in New York for U.N. activities but the Iranians
were not ready to have an encounter at the presidential level.
There had been encouraging signs that the U.S. and Iranian
presidents would have the highest level contact since before
Iran's 1979 revolution. Both presidents have talked about a
diplomatic opening to try to settle Iran's nuclear ambitions.
Officials stressed that any encounter between the two men
would not have involved negotiations over Iran's nuclear
program, which the West suspects is aimed at developing a
Diplomacy will now go forward between U.S. Secretary of
State John Kerry and his Iranian counterpart, the officials