With less than 48 hours before Geneva nuclear talks, Kerry presses Iran to reach agreement, cancels trip to Israel
Kerry told reporters late Monday that he will not be visiting Israel this weekend (File Archive/AFP)
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Ahead of this week's commencement of nuclear talks in Geneva aimed to finalize an agreement between Iran and six world powers, US Secretary of State John Kerry pressed Iran to reach consensus with the international community and also canceled his trip to Israel, according to reports from Agence France-Presse and Reuters.
Kerry told Reuters that "Iran will understand the importance of coming [to Geneva] prepared to create a document that can prove to the world this is a peaceful program." However, he also seemed to contradict his statement, saying that he had no "specific expectations" for the talks and hoped to simply "negotiate in good faith."
Iran will meet with United States, Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia in Geneva on November 20 in an attempt to reach a first-step agreement that serves as a starting point to end a "10-year deadlock" within the international community over Iran's nuclear program.
Kerry did not share any details with reporters about the proposal that will be under discussion among the seven countries, and still has not yet confirmed if he will fully participate in the talks. Rather, Kerry shared that he will decide once the talks are underway and "only if it makes sense."
The international community, particularly Israel and the United States, have been critical of Iran's nuclear program, saying that it is using it as a way to covertly develop its nuclear arsenal, which Tehran vehemently denies.
However, events in recent months have turned the tides in relationships between Iran, Israel and the United States, with a supposed "thaw" in relations between the US and Iran, as demonstrated through President Obama's phone call to Rouhani, as well as Obama's call on US lawmakers to forgo imposing new US sanctions on Tehran in order "to give negotiations a chance."
Israel, however, has not been so keen on the recent "thaw" between Tehran and its US ally, and has urged the international community to maintain tough sanctions on the Persian country.
Ahead of the commencement of this week's Geneva talks, Kerry also canceled a scheduled trip to Israel to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, according to Agence France-Presse. The US official was supposed to discuss the nuclear negotiations with Israeli leadership, but said that he would "try" to visit the Jewish state at a later date after the US Thanksgiving holiday.
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