News ID: 57042
Published: 0516 GMT December 08, 2014
Ryabkov: Talks to be held before December 20

Kerry: Iran deal could happen sooner than expected

Kerry: Iran deal could happen sooner than expected

The US expects to achieve a deal on 'reining in' Iran's nuclear program within three or four months, Secretary of State John Kerry said Sunday, suggesting an agreement could be possible months sooner than previously anticipated.


In a Sunday address to the Brookings Institution in Washington, Kerry said Iran and the six countries have all agreed to extend their nuclear negotiations until June 2015, adding, "Though it said seven months, we're not looking at seven months. I think the target is three/four months and hopefully even sooner if that is possible," Kerry said, according to Huffington Post.

He underlined that "this process takes time" due to the 'complicated' and 'technical' nature of the issues on the negotiating table.

Last month, Iran and the P5+1 group — Russia, China, Britain, France, the US and Germany — failed to meet the November-24 deadline to reach a permanent nuclear deal. They agreed to extend their discussions until June 2015, so that they could resolve their differences and clinch a permanent accord aimed at putting an end to the longstanding dispute over Tehran's nuclear issue.


Iran's commitment reaffirmed


Kerry further reaffirmed Iran's commitment to the interim nuclear deal it inked with the six countries in Geneva, Switzerland, in November 2013.

"…the [International Atomic Energy Agency] and our partners have been able to verify that Iran is indeed honoring [its] commitments. Today, IAEA inspectors have daily access, daily access, to Iran's enrichment facilities ... and we have developed a far deeper understanding of Iran's nuclear program."

The US secretary of state also described a 'negotiated agreement' as the best way to resolve Iran's nuclear issue.

"Over the past year, we and our P5+1 partners have been engaged in intense and tough negotiations with the Iranian government in hopes of finding a comprehensive, durable, and verifiable arrangement that resolves all of the international community's concerns," Kerry added.


Talks before December 20


Meanwhile, Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said negotiations between Tehran and the P5+1 will be held before December 20, adding the venue will not be the Austrian capital, Vienna.

"It will be surely held before the New Year, but not in Vienna," Russia's ITAR-TASS news agency quoted Ryabkov as saying on Monday.

"The 20th is already late, and so, it will be before December 20. It will be decided in the next few days," he said.

"We believe that to find a reasonable solution in talks to the Iranian problem is in the interests of all and first of all it is a way to prevent one more heavy international crisis potentially fraught with use of military force. Nobody can be interested in it," Ryabkov added.


EU foreign policy chief to participate

The Russian official further said that EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini also plans to participate personally in the talks.

In a recorded speech for a Washington think tank released on Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel's 'voice' and 'concerns' had played a key role in stopping a 'bad deal' on Iran's nuclear program before the November-24 deadline.

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