WH derides report of 'secret' Iran talks

The White House on Monday strongly denied an Israeli media report that the administration has been in secret talks with Iran for more than a year.

Israel's Channel 10 television station, citing unidentified Israeli officials, reported over the weekend that Valerie Jarrett, President Obama's senior adviser, had been meeting with Iranian officials for months. The report called ongoing international talks with Iran a “facade.” 

“There is absolutely no truth whatsoever to the rumors put forth by anonymous sources that Valerie Jarrett has ever been involved in secret talks with Iran,” White House spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan told The Hill via email.

The report plays into Israeli officials' narrative that the country has been left out of the loop as the United States and five other countries — Russia, China, France, Great Britain and Germany — negotiate with Iran over its nuclear program in Geneva. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lavished praise on visiting French President François Hollande over the weekend after France objected to a deal with Iran earlier this month and has launched a full-court press in cooperation with America's pro-Israel lobby to get the Senate to pass tough new sanctions on Iran.

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