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Rouhani: US 'Maximum Pressure' Campaign a Failure

In this photo released by the official website of the office of the Iranian Presidency, President Hassan Rouhani sits at the Mehrabad airport pavilion before leaving Tehran, Iran, for New York to attend UN General Assembly, Monday, Sept. 23, 2019.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says the Trump administration's "maximum pressure" campaign has failed, and that sanctions it imposed after abandoning the 2015 agreement on Iran's nuclear program show the United States is desperate.

Speaking before traveling to New York to participate the annual United Nations General Assembly meetings, Rouhani also said the United States and Saudi Arabia have exaggerated the damage done by an attack on Saudi oil facilities earlier this month.

Rouhani accused the Trump administration of wanting to take control of the region. He said earlier his plans for the U.N. meetings include presenting a regional cooperation plan for peace.

U.S. and Saudi officials have blamed Iran for the attacks, which shut down half of Saudi Arabia's oil production. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Monday his government believes there is a "high probability" Iran was responsible.

Iranian officials, including Rouhani, have denied Iran was involved.

While many world leaders will hold talks on the sidelines of the U.N. meetings this week, a meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Rouhani seems unlikely.

Trump said Sunday he had no intention of talking with Rouhani, and the Iranian president has said he would not meet with Trump until the United States lifts economic sanctions.

Trump announced new sanctions against Iran's national bank Friday, further escalating economic pressure on the Islamic Republic, but pulling back from any direct military action.

"I think the sanctions work," Trump said. "The military would work, but that is a very severe form of winning."