Iran denies agreement on direct nuclear talks with US

“We are not responsible for responding to the news they publish, but there is no talk of negotiations with the United States,” Akbar said, according to the Tehran Times.

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“We hold negotiations within the framework of the 5+1 group,” he said, referring to several rounds of nuclear negotiations held this year with the P5+1 group, the five permanent U.N. Security Council members plus Germany.

Despite the denials, the New York Times report on direct nuclear talks is poised to play a major role in Monday’s foreign-policy debate.

Mitt Romney has criticized President Obama’s policy toward Iran, saying the president has not been tough enough to stop the country's nuclear program. Romney foreign policy adviser Dan Senor said Monday that Romney would be a better negotiator than Obama.

The Obama campaign says that the administration has already enacted tough sanctions against Iran, and Democrats have questioned whether Romney would be overly eager to go to war with Iran.

As for negotiations, Akbar said that a new round of P5+1 talks could take place in late November, although a date and time have not been determined yet, he said.

Iran says its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only, while the United States and its allies suspect Iran is seeking nuclear weapons.