Headlines and denials are flying as the New York Times printed a report that negotiations with Iran are near, but by mutual consent, scheduled for after the November U.S. presidential election. On Saturday, the Times precipitated some hope for resolution of the international issues by writing that the United States and Iran had “agreed in principle” to one-on-one negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program. They quoted as their source the Obama administration. They called the agreement to talk a “last-ditch diplomatic effort to avert a military strike on Iran.”
While the Times conceded that the approval of the Iranian supreme leader Ali Khamenei was a necessary and as yet unaccomplished factor, the Times went into considerable detail as to the overall agreement. They quoted Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as having made a relevant statement in September, “Experience has shown that important and key decisions are not made in the U.S. leading up to the national elections.” The times suggested too that the approval of Khamenei was linked to the fact that the ruling mullahs don’t wish to appear as if sitting down with a country they demonize as the Great Satan.
A new and unexpected development arose on Sunday, October 21. The Washington based Daily Caller and other publications printed that the White House had indeed denied reports claiming Iran had agreed to meet with U.S. officials in relation to the Iranian Nuclear program. The denial made clear that at issue was the rationale of postponing any negotiations till after the November elections. The Daily Caller cited the Times words that, “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.”