The White House pool reporter says an unnamed official claims President Obama offered to have an "encounter" with his Iranian counterpart, but was turned down:
Senior administration officials came to pool hold around 2:45pm to say that the White House had offered to have "an encounter" on the sidelines of UNGA with Iranian President Rouhani, but the Iranians informed the US today that it is "too complicated for Iranians to do at this point."
More TK, as pool is running into Abbas bilat.
Officials said Secretary Kerry will engage with his counterpart on the nuclear issue.
“There will be no meeting,” one official said.
"It was clear that it was too complicated for them."
The US and Iranian officials had been discussing an encounter for days, officials said. What we indicated was we were open to the two leaders having an encounter here on the margins, officials said.
"The Iranians have an internal dynamic that they have to manage and the relationship with teh United States is clearly quite different than the relationship that Iran has with other Western nations," a senior administration official said.
UPDATE: The pool reporter adds:
To be clear - the US offer of "an encounter" was one between President Obama and President Rouhani.
"We have said publicly and we also said privately to the Iranians, that we're open to having discussions on the margins of UNGA - informal discussions not a bilateral meeting. That proved to be too complicated for the Iranians to do at this point," a senior administration official said.