The United States and Iran have agreed for the first time to open bilateral negotiations on the nuclear issue, reported Saturday the New York Times, citing Obama administration officials. 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.
This new development comes just more than two weeks before the presidential election between President Barack Obama and Republican rival Mitt Romney, and only two days before the final debate in Boca Raton, Florida, 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.
"Iranian officials have insisted that talks should be held after the presidential election," said a senior U.S. government, quoted by the New York Times, adding that the Iranians would like to know with whom they enter into negotiations.
However, Obama administration were quick to deny this report. According to the National Security spokesman, Tommy Vietor, President Barack Obama 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,"