Monday, July 06, 2015

Sec. of State John Kerry: A couple of more days to negotiate privately and quietly with Iran

With the July 7 deadline looming. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Sunday he needs a couple of days to negotiate "privately and quietly" with Iran to reach a nuclear deal.

"I did want to just bring everybody up to speed because I think there’s a lot of speculation, and I want to make sure that it’s based on some sense of reality.

"This evening, my foreign minister colleagues are returning here to Vienna. And it is now time – there we go – it’s now time to see whether or not we are able to close an agreement.

"In many ways, this negotiation has been going on for literally a number of years. And over the past few days, we have in fact made genuine progress. But I want to be absolutely clear with everybody: We are not yet where we need to be on several of the most difficult issues.

"And the truth is that while I completely agree with Foreign Minister Zarif that we have never been closer, at this point, this negotiation could go either way. If hard choices get made in the next couple of days and made quickly, we could get an agreement this week. But if they are not made, we will not.

"So our teams remain very hard at work. In the coming hours and days we’re going to go as hard as we can. We are not going to be negotiating in the press. We’ll be negotiating privately and quietly. And when the time is right, we will all have more to say.

"If we don’t get a deal, if we don’t have a deal, if there’s absolute intransigence, if there’s an unwillingness to move on the things that are important, President Obama has always said we’ll be prepared to walk away. It’s not what anybody wants. We want to get an agreement.

"But our hope is that we get an agreement that is fair, that gets the job done, and we can hold our heads high and show the world that countries can come together and make things happen," Kerry said in Vienna.

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