Denials from the U.S. and Iran about one-on-one negotiations over nuclear program make it look like a leak, Portman says.
Sen. Rob Portman, a top surrogate for Mitt Romney, dismissed a report that the United States and Iran are poised to enter one-on-one negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program.
Portman, R-Ohio, said that the fact both countries are denying the story makes it look like another inappropriate leak from the administration rather than a diplomatic breakthrough.
It looks like “another national security leak from the White House,” he said on NBC’s Meet The Press. “They've done a lot of that.”
Criticism about national security leaks has been a constant refrain from the Romney campaign, and Portman’s response could serve as a preview of how the Republican presidential nominee will respond to the Iran report during Monday’s foreign policy debate. Portman is heavily involved in debate preparations for the Romney campaign.
Portman added that one-on-one negotiations would also be unwise because it would cast aside countries like France, which have helped marshal sanctions.
“The last thing we want is to abandon our allies on this,” he said.