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Bridget Johnson


October 20, 2012 - 4:24 pm

The White House claimed this evening that a New York Times report saying that the U.S. and Iran have for the first time agreed to one-on-one nuclear talks isn’t true.

The NYT quotes unnamed senior administration officials as saying Iran wants to wait after the presidential election is over to sit down and start talking — “a result of intense, secret exchanges between American and Iranian officials that date almost to the beginning of President Obama’s term,” states the paper.

“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 issued by the White House minutes ago.

“We continue to work with the P-5+1 on a diplomatic solution and have said from the outset that we would be prepared to meet bilaterally,” Vietor said. “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.”

There was no coverage of the story yet on Iranian news outlets.

Bridget Johnson is a veteran journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She is an NPR contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.
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