A scoop by the New York Times today reporting an agreement to one-on-one negotiations between the Obama administration and Iran over that country’s nuclear program quickly lit up Twitter and international media, but National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor quickly issued a statement saying that “it’s not true that the United States and Iran have agreed to one-on-one talks or any meeting after the American elections.”
The White House is saying it's not true that US and Iran have agreed to one-on-one talks
— Steve Holland (@steveholland1) October 20, 2012
White House tonight knocking down the Times story – in which administration officials tell @NYTimes that Iran wants nuclear talks
— West Wing Reports (@WestWingReport) October 20, 2012
Ok, so now it's the WH saying the U.S. is OK with talking with Iran directly, but no agreement just yet? http://t.co/SKVW3wMM
— Blake Hounshell (@blakehounshell) October 20, 2012
Having seemingly leaked to the @nytimes, White House is now denying the Iranian nuclear story. This is reminiscent of the Benghazi debacle
— Dr. James D. Boys (@jamesdboys) October 20, 2012
U.S. says no plans for one-on-one meeting with Iran on nuclear issue http://t.co/hU7tDwX8
— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) October 20, 2012
NSC spokesman: "It’s not true that the United States and Iran have agreed to one-on-one talks or any meeting after the American elections."
— Shannon Bream (@ShannonBream) October 20, 2012
The Times story had speculated that the news could boost President Obama’s standing at next week’s debate, which will center on foreign policy:
News of the agreement — a result of intense, secret exchanges between American and Iranian officials that date almost to the beginning of President Obama’s term — comes at a critical moment in the presidential contest, just two weeks before Election Day and the weekend before the final debate, which is to focus on national security and foreign policy.
It has the potential to help Mr. Obama make the case that he is nearing a diplomatic breakthrough in the decade-long effort by the world’s major powers to curb Tehran’s nuclear ambitions, but it could pose a risk if Iran is seen as using the prospect of the direct talks to buy time.
— Mike Allen (@mikeallen) October 20, 2012
New lead question at the debate? Not so fast.
For those asking, we've added WH denial to story about US/Iran nuclear talks, but otherwise, that's it. http://t.co/JJSxlXte
— Jim Roberts (@nycjim) October 20, 2012
Politics of NYT/Iran story are bad for the WH – echoes of the "greater flexibility" Obama told Medvedev he'd have after the election
— Jonathan Karl (@jonkarl) October 21, 2012
So minus the one on one, and us-Iran direct part, which both seem wrong, story is basically what we already knew?
— Laura Rozen (@lrozen) October 21, 2012
I'll be very curious to hear how the NYT got this Iran story so wrong . . . or did they?
— Michael Cohen (@speechboy71) October 20, 2012
more likely than not, WH is shooting down exact characterization of state of U.S.-Iran nuke talks in NYT & something is actually brewing
— Jennifer Epstein (@jeneps) October 20, 2012
If the White House and the NYT start calling each other liars over the Iran story, I'm making some popcorn!
— Paul Hsieh (@PaulHsieh) October 21, 2012