Iran denies reports about agreement on direct talks with U.S.
Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi has dismissed the news reports claiming that Iran has agreed to hold direct negotiations with the United States, MNA reported.
Salehi made the remarks in Tehran on Sunday during a joint press conference with Central African Republic Foreign Minister Antoine Gambi, in reply to a question about the fact that the New York Times, quoting unidentified U.S. administration officials, reported on Saturday that Iran and the U.S. had agreed in principle for the first time to one-on-one negotiations over Iran's nuclear program after the U.S. presidential election, which is scheduled to be held on November 6.
The Iranian foreign minister said, "We are not responsible for responding to the news they publish, but there is no talk of negotiations with the United States."
"We hold negotiations within the framework of the 5+1 group (talks)," he stated, referring to the negotiations between Iran and the 5+1 group (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany) over the country's nuclear program.
Tommy Vietor, a White House spokesman, also dismissed the New York Times report on Saturday, saying, "It's not true that the United States and Iran have agreed to one-on-one talks or any meeting after the American elections."
However, the U.S. administration is open to such talks and has "said from the outset that we would be prepared to meet bilaterally," Vietor added.
During the press conference, Salehi was asked if a date has been set for a new round of talks between Tehran and the 5+1 group, and he replied, "According to the latest talks, it has been agreed that negotiations will be held between the two sides in November, probably late in November. However, the date and venue have not been fixed yet."