The White House denied a report Saturday that said the United States and Iran have agreed to one-on-one talks over Iran’s nuclear program.
Such talks, as reported by The New York Times, would be a first.
“It’s not true that the United States and Iran have agreed to one-on-one talks or any meeting after the American elections,” White House National Security Council Spokesman Tommy Vietor said in a statement.
“The President has made clear that he will prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, and we will do what we must to achieve that. It has always been our goal for sanctions to pressure Iran to come in line with its obligations. The onus is on the Iranians to do so, otherwise they will continue to face crippling sanctions and increased pressure."
Citing an anonymous senior official within the Obama administration, The New York Times reported earlier Saturday that Iranian officials insisted the talks not start until after the presidential vote.
Secret discussions between U.S. and Iranian officials date almost to the start of Obama’s term, the newspaper said.
Iran says its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes and to fill energy shortages, but Western leaders believe Tehran is an aspiring armed nuclear power. U.N. inspectors have also expressed doubts about the program's aims.