Antony Blinken
Antony BlinkenREUTERS/Sarah Silbiger

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Friday rejected reports that Washington and Tehran were close to deals on limiting Iran's nuclear program and releasing US citizens detained in the country.

"With regard to Iran, some of the reports that we've seen about an agreement on nuclear matters or, for that matter, on detainees, are simply not accurate and not true," Blinken said when asked about indirect talks via Oman, according to the AFP news agency.

His comments come amid swirling rumors that the US and Iran are close to an agreement on Iran’s nuclear program.

On Wednesday, a report by the New York Times revealed details of an emerging deal between the United States and Iran regarding the Iranian nuclear program.

According to the report, the Americans are aiming to reach an informal, unwritten agreement, which some Iranian officials are calling a “political ceasefire,” which would prevent a further escalation.

The new deal — which two Israeli officials called “imminent” — would reportedly stipulate that Iran would not enrich uranium beyond its current production level of 60 percent purity.

Iran would also halt lethal attacks on American contractors in Syria and Iraq by its proxies in the region, expand its cooperation with international nuclear inspectors, and refrain from selling ballistic missiles to Russia.

In return, Iran demands the US avoid tightening sanctions and unfreeze billions of dollars in Iranian assets, the use of which would be limited to humanitarian purposes, in exchange for the release of three Iranian American prisoners whom the US calls wrongfully detained.

The report in the Times followed a report in Axios, which said that Brett McGurk, US President Joe Biden’s senior Middle East adviser, took a low-profile trip to Oman in May for talks with Omani officials on possible diplomatic outreach to Iran regarding its nuclear program.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson later confirmed reports of indirect talks with the US in Oman, but denied it was interested an interim deal with Washington.

A US official then said that the United States and Iran are not discussing an interim nuclear deal, and that Washington had merely conveyed to Tehran what steps might trigger a crisis and also those that may create a better climate between the long-time antagonists.

(Israel National News' North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Israel National News articles, however, is Israeli time.)