Kerry: Iran, world powers came "extremely close" to striking nuclear deal at Geneva
"We were very very close actually, extremely close," US Secretary of State John Kerry said Tuesday about the weekend's nuclear talks with Iran (AFP)
US Secretary of State John Kerry told the BBC Tuesday that the differences between the world powers and Iran over its nuclear program are not large enough to derail a future agreement.
Speaking candidly after the recent talks in Geneva over Iran's nuclear weapons, Kerry said that the world powers had come extremely close" to making a deal with the Islamic Republic at the weekend. The three-day conference ended without a breakthrough in negotiations, but diplomats will meet again on 20 November, BBC reported.
The US official added that the rest of the world had to be certain that Iran was not actively pursuing a nuclear weapons program.
"We were very very close actually, extremely close," Kerry said, adding that it will "take time to work through differences" between the US and Iran.
"We haven't been speaking for 35 years," Kerry told the BBC. "We just talked more in 30 hours than we have in those prior 30 years."
The Iranian government maintains that its nuclear program is solely for peaceful purposes, but world powers have suspicions that it is striving to develop a nuclear weapons capability.
According to the BBC, some reports said the latest talks failed because France had wanted to place tight restrictions on Iran's heavy-water plant being built in Arak.
However, US diplomats have said the Iranian government's insistence on formal recognition of its "right" to enrich uranium had been the major stumbling block in the talks.