UK & World News
White House Denies Iran Nuclear Talks Report
The White House has denied reports it has agreed to stage one-on-one talks with Iran to find a diplomatic solution to concerns over its nuclear programme.
The New York Times reported on Saturday that the US and Iran had agreed in principle to negotiations, which would take place after the November 6 presidential election.
But National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor denied there was any agreement.
He said: "It's not true that the US 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."
He added that efforts to get Iran back to the negotiating table with the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany - the so-called "P5+1" - will continue.
President Barack Obama and Republican candidate Mitt Romney meet on Monday night in the third and final presidential debate focusing on foreign policy - with Iran's nuclear ambitions a likely topic.
Mr Obama has said he will prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons and that he hopes sanctions can get Tehran to halt its uranium enrichment.
Mr Romney has accused the president of being weak on Iran and says the US needs to present a greater military threat.
Iran has continued with its nuclear programme despite tough sanctions and measures imposed by the US and European nations.
Those measures have taken their toll, particularly on the Iranian economy, and authorities have been forced to quell protests in recent weeks over the plummeting value of the Iranian rial.
Iran insists its nuclear programme is for energy and research purposes, but Western nations fear it is determined to develop nuclear weapons.
Israel has also threatened to strike its nuclear facilities if it does not halt uranium enrichment.