The New York Times reports that for the first time, the United States and Iran have agreed to bilateral negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program. The Times notes that the news “has the potential” to help President Obama “make the case that he is nearing a diplomatic breakthrough in the decade-long effort by the world’s major powers to curb Tehran’s nuclear ambitions.” The Times adds that “it is also far from clear,” whether Mitt Romney “would go through with the negotiation should he win election.”
The White House has issued a statement denying the Times’ report:
It’s not true that the United States and Iran have agreed to one-on-one talks or any meeting after the American elections. We continue to work with the P-5 on a diplomatic solution and have said from the outset that we would be prepared to meet bilaterally. 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.