Iran, world powers closer than ever to a nuclear deal: US

Published April 28th, 2015 - 06:03 GMT
Kerry's remarks were some of the first between he and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif since Iran and world powers reached a framework nuclear agreement on April 2. (AFP/FIle)
Kerry's remarks were some of the first between he and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif since Iran and world powers reached a framework nuclear agreement on April 2. (AFP/FIle)

US Secretary of State John Kerry has said that world powers and Iran are closer than ever to a good comprehensive agreement over the country’s nuclear program.

"We are, in fact, closer than ever to the good, comprehensive deal that we have been seeking, and if we can get there, the entire world will be safer," Kerry said on Monday.

"The hard work is far from over and some key issues remain unresolved," he added.

He made the comments during a speech at the 2015 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.

The top US diplomat also said a finalized and implemented deal would “give the international community the confidence that it needs to know that Iran's nuclear program is indeed exclusively peaceful.”

Kerry on Monday met with Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on the sidelines of the conference in New York City.

Following the meeting, Zarif said that he has received assurances from Kerry that the administration of President Barack Obama will remain committed to a possible nuclear deal with Iran.

He said the two agreed to continue drafting details of a final agreement.

Monday’s meeting was the first time the two officials held talks since April 2, when Iran and the P5+1 reached a framework agreement over Tehran’s nuclear energy program. The two sides face a deadline of June 30 to finalize a comprehensive deal. 

Among the key points of nuclear negotiations is the lifting of all sanctions once a final deal is reached on the Islamic Republic’s nuclear activities.

The Obama administration says the sanctions could be phased out. However, the Iranian government stresses that all sanctions have to be lifted as soon as a possible final deal comes into force.  

President Obama did not rule out lifting sanctions earlier this month, saying removal of the sanctions “will require some creative negotiations” by Kerry and others.

Meanwhile, a new survey conducted by the Quinnipiac University showed a majority of Americans support the framework nuclear agreement.

About 58 percent of American voters back the outline of a final agreement, which would lift all international sanctions imposed against the Islamic Republic in exchange for certain steps Tehran will take with regard to its nuclear program, according to the poll.


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