by Larry O'Connor 26 Nov 2013, 3:44 AM PDT
The Associated Press and Al-Monitor kept US-Iran nuclear containment talks secret until after they had reached their conclusion this past weekend.
The AP claims they didn't run with the story because they couldn't get the White House or State Department to confirm the secret talks were occurring:
The AP was tipped to the first U.S.-Iranian meeting in March shortly after it occurred, but the White House and State Department disputed elements of the account and the AP could not confirm the meeting. The AP learned of further indications of secret diplomacy in the fall and pressed the White House and other officials further. As the Geneva talks between the P5+1 and Iran appeared to be reaching their conclusion, senior administration officials confirmed to the AP the details of the extensive outreach.
Al-Monitor says they learned of the secret talks in early November, but held on to the story at the Administration's request:
Al-Monitor learned that Burns was in Geneva during the second round of nuclear talks between the five permanent members of the UN Security Council (the US, UK, France, Russia, China) plus Germany (P5+1) and Iran held here November 7-9, and subsequently learned additional details about the bilateral channel, but agreed to hold the story at the administration’s request until the conclusion of the third round of nuclear talks that ended here in a breakthrough tonight.
Further, Al-Monitor reporter Laura Rozen says both her journal and the AP had the story and kept quiet about it to accommodate the Obama Administration:
We both had versions of it independently early & were asked to not publish til end of Iran talks @NPSusa:
— Laura Rozen (@lrozen) November 24, 2013
**UPDATE**: The AP responded to accusations that it kept the talks under wraps, saying:
Contrary to a number of accounts since Sunday, AP did not sit on the story for several months. We aggressively pursued the story throughout that period, trying everything we could to get it to the wire. In fact, some of the information we were tipped to in March turned out to be inaccurate.