White House denies Iranian nuclear report

White House denies Iranian nuclear report
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The White House on Tuesday denied a report that a deal is taking shape on Iran’s nuclear program that would restrict Tehran’s ability to pursue a nuclear weapon for 10 years.

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"Those reports are not correct,” press secretary Josh Earnest said of the reported timeframe. “That does not reflect the accurate negotiating position of the United States and our international partners.”

Earnest would not comment on other details of the deal, which The Associated Press reported would slowly ease restrictions on Iran’s nuclear capabilities after a set period of time.

"We want an agreement that is verifiable and certainly we want one that all parties live up to. In terms of what kind of time constraints are placed in the context of the negotiations, how long people will be signing up for, that’s not something I’m going to prejudge or be in a position to talk about here,” Earnest said.

Western negotiators and Iran’s representatives met again on Monday in the hopes that they could establish the framework for a deal by the end of March.

The Associated Press reported Monday that the U.S. had pushed for a deal that would put strict controls on Iran for 20 years, but that the Iranians had resisted that length.

Any deal is likely to be contingent on the U.S. and its allies lifting current economic sanctions on Iran.

The flurry of negotiations is taking place a week before Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks to Congress. He is expected to harshly criticize the negotiations.