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Iran not to hold "independent" nuclear talks with U.S. outside P5+1
TEHRAN, Oct. 21 (Xinhua) -- Iranian Foreign Minister Ali-Akbar Salehi said Sunday that Iran will not hold "independent" talks with the United States outside the framework of nuclear negotiations with six world powers, dubbed P5+1, the semi-official ISNA news agency reported.
"We don't have something to be named talks with the United States," said Salehi when asked about the recent media reports that Iran and the United States have agreed to hold direct talks over Iran's nuclear issue.
"We will talk (with the U.S.) within the framework of P5+1 ... and we don't have (other nuclear) talks independent from that," he was quoted as saying.
On Saturday, the New York Times reported that the United States and Iran had agreed for the first time to have one-on-one talks over the latter's controversial nuclear program after the upcoming U.S. presidential elections.
The paper said the agreement was the result of intense and secret exchanges between officials of the two countries, which began almost immediately after President Barack Obama took office in January 2009.
The White House on Saturday denied the press report. "It's not true that the United States and Iran have agreed to one-on-one talks or any meeting after the American elections," Tommy Vietor, spokesman of the National Security Council, said in a statement.
"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 said.