By Paige Winfield Cunningham and Dave Boyer. The White House denied a report that it set up direct talks with Iran about its nuclear program, but that didn’t halt a flurry of speculation Sunday.
Democrats said the talks, if they are happening, prove that sanctions supported by President Obama have worked; Republicans accused the Iranians of using the U.S. election to buy time for their nuclear weapons development.
Iran has agreed to directly negotiate with the U.S., but with the caveat that talks not take place until after the Nov. 6 presidential election, according to a weekend report by The New York Times. While Iranian officials cited uncertainty about the election as a reason for delaying talks, Sen. Lindsey Graham said that’s just a “ploy” allowing them to use the election cycle “in a pretty clever way.”
“I think the Iranians are trying to take advantage of our election cycle to continue to talk,” the South Carolina Republican told Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday.” “I think the time for talking is over, we should be demanding transparency and access to their nuclear program.”
With the presidential election just 15 days away, there’s little the White House does that isn’t being viewed through a political lens — and that’s especially true when it comes to foreign policy, with GOP candidate Mitt Romney and other Republicans criticizing how Mr. Obama has handled touchy situations in countries like Iran, Libya and Afghanistan. Read more from this story HERE.
Today, Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu commented on the report of the Obama Administration’s direct talks with Iran. He stated that he believes Iran is continuing to use bad faith negotiations as a tool to delay while it develops its nuclear capability: