The White House is denying a New York Times report that, Iran is ready to hold bilateral talks with the US, on its nuclear issue.
National Security spokesman Tommy Vietor said in a statement it is not true that the US and Iran have agreed to scheduling direct talks over Tehran's nuclear development program after the American elections.
The statement said that Washington would continue to work with the international powers on a diplomatic solution to the nuclear standoff with Tehran, adding that the US said from the outset that it would be prepared to meet bilaterally.
Vietor also stressed that President has made it clear he will do whatever is necessary to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.
"Iran must comply with its obligations, or face further pressure and sanctions."
Unnamed Obama administration officials were quoted Saturday in a New York Times report as saying that the United States and Iran have agreed, for the first time, to open bilateral negotiations on the nuclear issue.
This agreement is a result of intense and secret exchanges among the leaders of the two countries, which began immediately after Obama took office in January 2009, according to the newspaper.
Earlier, Iranian officials had said they would be prepared for dialogue only after US elections on Nov. 6, after the name of the new president becomes known.
However, the report and subsequent denial come at a key point in the US presidential campaign between President Barack Obama and Republican rival , only two days before the final debate in Boca Raton, Fla., which would focus on foreign policy. Romney accused his opponent of being weak against Iran and said the United States should put the military option on the table.
It is worth mentioning that Iran insists its nuclear program is strictly for peaceful civilian purposes and does not aim to accomplish military goals, while the United States, Western countries and Israel criticized the Iranian lack of transparency over its nuclear ambitions and suspected Iran of seeking to build a nuclear bomb.
Last week, speaking in Eurasian Media Forum, which was held in the Kazakh capital of Astana, the spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry Ramin Mehmanparast said Tehran was ready to be flexible, in order to appease the concerns of the international community about Iran's nuclear program and to conduct negotiations on uranium enrichment.
"If we receive assurances about the supply of uranium enriched to 20 percent for the Tehran research reactor, our representatives are ready to conduct negotiations on uranium enrichment to this level."
Despite the denials, I tend to believe what came on the New York Times newspaper. Perhaps history is repeating itself with Iran-Contra scandal, which was in the era of former US President Ronald Reagan.
However, this time there are no nuclear weapons, but negotiations that could reach to resolve the Iranian nuclear dispute with the international community. This will be a success counted for Obama.
Three years ago, there were reports stating that, US agreed to high-level talks with Iran. Perhaps those meetings were held, and if so, it would have happened far from the media. At that time that news wasn't denied.
Obama has threatened many times the Iranian regime and hinted the
international community could use other means against Tehran. However, he always repeated this statement: "It is the policy of the United States to try to resolve the issue of Iran's nuclear capabilities in a peaceful way through diplomatic channels. That is our policy."
Therefore we should not be surprised about reports indicating the willingness of the United States to go for direct negotiations with Tehran.
I personally, and probably many others, think that the international community should treat all countries in the Middle East equally. It is not acceptable that Israel owns peaceful and military nuclear technology; they even reject nuclear reactors control. Of course, no sanctions will be imposed on Israel for this. They might even get help to develop their nuclear and mass of destruction weapons.
On the other hand, economic and political sanctions are imposed on Tehran, in addition to military threats for its nuclear program, despite the reports of IAEA that did not show Iranian intention to use nuclear energy in military programs.
I do not think this is justice. For this the international community should review its policy towards the Arab and Islamic countries, before it is too late.
Finally, if the Americans are waiting for Nov. 6 to find out their next president, the Arab and Islamic world is not sharing them this interest. Any incoming president will have Israel's security as his top priority, even if he denies this fact millions of times.