Iran, U.S. Deny Report on Bilateral Talks

October 22, 2012

            On October 20, the New York Times published an article claiming that the United States and Iran had agreed to hold bilateral talks after the U.S. presidential election. The article was allegedly based on comments by anonymous White House officials. Later that night, National Security Council Spokesman Tommy Vietor denied the article’s claim. On October 21, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi told Fars news agency, “We do not have anything such as talks with the United States.” But he mentioned that Iran plans to negotiate with the P5+1 in late November. The following is Tommy Vietor's October 20 press statement.

Statement by National Security Council Spokesman Tommy Vietor on Iran
            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 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.