US Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday urged Iran to take more decisive steps to meet the requirements for reaching a final deal over its nuclear programme even as he said that that any such deal will make Israel safer than it is today.
“Unless Iran is able to make the difficult decisions that are required, there won’t be a deal,” Xinhua news agency quoted him as saying at a press conference after addressing the High-Level Segment of the Human Rights Council here in Geneva.
“Right now, no deal exists, no partial deal exists,” he said.
However, Kerry said he saw “some progress” in the talks as negotiators were trying hard to reach the outline of a final deal that they want by July.
Under an interim deal between Iran and the P5+1 inked in November, 2013, Iran said it would suspend critical nuclear activities in return for limited easing of sanctions, with all sides seeking a comprehensive deal.
After missing two self-imposed deadlines, the negotiators agreed in November 2014 to extend the deadline for seven more months and aimed to reach a political framework deal by the end of March.
Kerry also said that any deal that would possibly agree with Iran will make Israel safer than it is today.
“Israel’s security is absolutely at the forefront of all our minds, but rightly so is the security of all the other countries in the region, so is our security in the United States,” Kerry said.
Kerry also warned Israel against revealing details at the Israeli Prime Minister’s upcoming speech to the US Congress of an Iran nuclear deal that world powers are in the process of negotiating.
“We are concerned by reports that suggest selected details of the ongoing negotiations will be discussed publicly in the coming days,” Kerry said. “I want to say clearly, doing so would make it more difficult to reach the goal that Israel and others say they share in order to get a good deal.”
Israeli officials have said that they knew about the emerging nuke agreement and that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would elaborate in his Congressional address.
Immediately after the press conference, Kerry headed to nearby Montreux, Switzerland, where the new round of Iran nuclear talks will start Monday evening between Kerry and his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif.
The talks will be continued on Wednesday by senior diplomats from Iran and the P5+1 group of world powers, namely the US, Britain, France, Russia, China plus Germany.
Last week, a senior US official said the Iran nuclear talks have “made substantial progress”, but “did not expect an agreement to be reached next week”.(IANS)