Iran on Sunday echoed the White House’s denial that Washington and Tehran were discussing direct negotiations over Iran’s unsanctioned nuclear program.
“We don’t have any discussions or negotiations with America,” Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said, according to Reuters. “The [nuclear] talks are ongoing with the P5+1 group of nations. Other than that, we have no discussions with the United States.”
Earlier this year Iran held a series of talks with the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany, known collectively as the P5+1, that failed to negotiate a solution to Tehran’s controversial development program that Israel and the West fear is aimed at producing nuclear weapons.
The statement came hours after a similar announcement from the White House denied a weekend report in The New York Times claiming that the US and Iran were engaged in secret negotiations to hold a dialogue about Iran’s uranium enrichment facilities.
The US and Iran severed diplomatic ties in 1980, following a hostage crisis in which 52 American diplomats were held captive in the US embassy in Tehran for 444 days. Indirect communications are conducted by Iran through an interests section at the Pakistani Embassy in Washington, and by the United States through an interests section at the Swiss Embassy in Tehran.