The White House is denying a report that the United States and Iran have agreed to one-on-one negotiations over Tehran’s nuclear program.
The report -- from The New York Times and based on discussions with Obama administration officials -- came as Iran is believed to be building a nuclear weapon and as a result is under heavy economic sanctions. Iranian officials insisted that the talks wait until after the presidential election, an official told the newspaper.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader, was said to have the last word on whether the first-ever talks should occur.
"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 released by the White House. "It has always been our goal for sanctions to pressure Iran to come in line with its obligations."
Israel is warned that Iran is close to achieving nuclear capability and has pushed for the United State vow to take military action if needed.
Election Day is less than three weeks away. And the final debate between President Obama and Mitt Romney, on Monday, is about foreign policy.