“It’s not true that the United States and Iran have agreed to one-on-one talks or any meeting after the American elections a National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor said following the publication of a New York Times report saying the White House and Iran agreed to hold direct negotiations over its nuclear program after election day.

According to the New York Times, secret exchanges between US and Iranian officials began early in President Barack Obama’s term, but Iranian officials stalled, wanting to wait until after upcoming presidential elections so Tehran would know if it could count on agreements made with Obama, or if Obama would be replaced.

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Israeli Ambassador to the UN Michael Oren said Israel had not been informed of these plans by the White House.  “We do not think Iran should be rewarded with direct talks,” Oren said.

Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman told Army Radio on Sunday “I want to believe the White House’s denial, and I want to believe that they learn from experience,” Liberman said. “All the Iranians want to accomplish through direct negotiations is the lifting of sanctions.”

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Malkah Fleisher is a graduate of Cardozo Law School in New York City. She is an editor/staff writer at JewishPress.com and co-hosts a weekly Israeli FM radio show. Malkah lives with her husband and two children on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem.