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U.S. Denies NY Times Report of Iran Nuclear Talks

The White House denied a New York Times report that said the United States and Iran agreed to bilateral talks over Iran's nuclear program

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The White House said it was "not true" that U.S. and Iran had agreed to one-on-one talks concerning Iran's nuclear program.

The New York Times article, titled "U.S. officials say Iran has agreed to nuclear talks," published Saturday, said Iran and the United States had agreed "in principle for the first time to one-on-one negotiations," citing an anonymous "Obama administration officials."

National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor responded in a statement:

"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 P5+1 [the United Kingdom, United States, France, China, Russia and Germany] 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."

Due to International sanctions and a European Union boycott on oil, Iran's currency, the rial, sunk 40 percent in early October.

Former Undersecretary of State R. Nicholas Burns, who led negotiations with Iran under George. W. Bush, told the Times the possibility of a nuclear Iran “is the most difficult national security issue facing the United States. While we should preserve the use of force as a last resort, negotiating first with Iran makes sense."

Tehran claims its nuclear enrichment program is for peaceful purposes.

The third and final presidential debate on Monday will focus on foreign policy. Obama's opponent Mitt Romney accuses the White House of being to soft on Iran.

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