October 21, 2012 - 16:13 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - The New York Times reported on Saturday, October 20 that the United States and Iran have agreed in principle to hold one-on-one negotiations on Iran's nuclear program but the White House quickly denied that any talks had been set, according to Reuter.
The Times, quoting unnamed Obama administration officials, said earlier on Saturday the two sides had agreed to bilateral negotiations after secret exchanges between U.S. and Iranian officials. The newspaper later said the agreement was "in principle."
The White House quickly denied the report, which came two days before President Barack Obama is due to face Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney in a debate focused on foreign policy.
"It's not true that the United States and Iran have agreed to one-on-one talks or any meeting after the American elections," National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor said in a statement.
"We continue to work with the P5+1 on a diplomatic solution and have said from the outset that we would be prepared to meet bilaterally."
The P5+1 group is composed of the permanent members of the U.N. Security Council - the United States, Britain, China, France and Russia - plus Germany.
Iran had insisted the talks with Washington not begin until after the November 6 U.S. election determines whether Obama will serve a second term or whether Romney will succeed him, the Times said.