White House Denies TV Report of Secret Talks Between U.S. and Iran

Israel's Channel 10 TV reported that the secret talks preceded the current negotiations in Geneva and continued for over a year.

A White House spokesman last night strongly denied an Israeli report that the United States and Iran had been holding secret talks for over a year before the recent rapprochment between the two countries.

"Those rumors are absolutely, 100 percent false," said Bernadette Meehan, in response to a report that was aired by Israel's Channel 10 TV on Sunday night.

According to the report, the U.S. team was said to have been led by President Barack Obama’s senior adviser Valerie Jarrett, whose interlocutor, the report said, was the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, Ali Akbar Salehi.

The report, which relied on unnamed senior Israeli officials, said Israel was annoyed that Washington had not been keeping Jerusalem abreast of the content and progress of the negotiations, which were said to be taking place in various Gulf States.