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White House denies Israeli reports of secret talks with Iran

The White House is denying reports that it took part in secret talks with Iran for more than a year — with Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett at the helm — an issue that is rattling Israel and ramping up already tense discussions on relations.

The Israeli press, citing anonymous senior Israeli officials, reported that the U.S. took part in the secret talks led by Jarrett that outlined a deal with Iran over its nuclear program.

Meanwhile, today a spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, would not address rumors that this week’s visit to Israel by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was called off because of rising tensions regarding Iran.

Last week, Kerry gave congressional leaders a closed-door briefing on Iran — that included U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill. At issue is whether the United States should ease up on sanctions against Iran, which is devastating the nation’s people, in exchange for the nation to suspend its nuclear program. Israel is opposed to pulling back.