Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and top US diplomat John Kerry will join new talks on Tehran's nuclear program in Geneva later this week, an Iranian diplomat said Thursday. Meanwhile, the US has confirmed that Israel is not fully updated in talk's development, in wake of what the US called "cherry-picking" on its part.
"The talks between Iran and US deputy foreign ministers will be on Friday and Saturday. Iran's Foreign Minister (Mohammad Javad Zarif) and (U.S. Secretary of State) John Kerry will join the negotiators on Sunday and Monday," said Iranian senior nuclear negotiator Abbas Araqchi.
Iran and world powers are trying to strike a deal that would prevent Tehran from developing a nuclear bomb, a goal it denies having, in return for an easing of punishing economic sanctions.
Zarif and Kerry will join the negotiations from Sunday after their diplomats begin the talks on Friday, Iran's deputy foreign minister Abbas Araghchi was quoted as saying by the official IRNA news agency.
The news came after White House spokesman Josh Earnest admitted that the Obama administration is mindful of the need to keep the negotiations private and accused Israel of distorting the US' position.
"I think it is fair to say that the United States is mindful of the need to not negotiate in public and ensure that information that's discussed in the negotiating table is not taken out of context and publicized in a way that distorts the negotiating position of the United States and our allies," Earnest said at a news briefing.
"There's no question that some of the things that the Israelis have said in characterizing our negotiating position have not been accurate," he added. "There's no question about that."
State Department spokesperson, Jan Psaki echoed the claim, saying "I think it is safe to say not everything you are hearing from the Israeli government is an accurate reflection of the details of the talks."
Nonetheless, Earnest denied reports that Washington waslimiting the information it gives Israel about the Iran talks. "I know that there were some initial reports that indicated that the United States is no longer communicating with our allies in Israel about the ongoing negotiations with Iran. That obviously is false," Earnest said.
Earnest would not discuss details of US-Israeli consultations on Iran nuclear negotiations.
"But I think it is fair to say that the United States is mindful of the need to not negotiate in public and ensure that information that's discussed in the negotiating table is not taken out of context and publicized in a way that distorts the negotiating position of the United States and our allies," he said.
Itzhak Benhorin, AFP and Reuters contributed to this report