SHAFAQNA – (International Shia News Agency) – US Secretary of State John Kerry says the United States and other countries involved in nuclear negotiations with Iran will not ‘be distracted by external factors or politics’.
Kerry made the remarks on Wednesday in Switzerland hours after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took the podium at the US Congress and ranted against the ongoing talks between Iran and the P5+1 countries – the US, Britain, France, China, Russia, and Germany, which have entered a sensitive final stage.
Kerry told reporters in the Swiss town of Montreux that he and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif concluded three days of ‘intense’ talks there.
‘The purpose of these negotiations is not to get any deal, it’s to get the right deal, one that can withstand scrutiny,’ he said, according to news agencies.
‘From the beginning these negotiations have been tough and intense and they remain so,’ Kerry added.
‘We’ve made some progress from where we were and important choices need to be made,’ he noted.
The top US diplomat said world powers negotiating with Iran wanted ‘an agreement that is sustainable over time, particularly that achieves the singular goal of proving that Iran’s nuclear program is and will remain peaceful’.
On Tuesday, Netanyahu accused Washington of negotiating “a very bad deal” with Iran over its nuclear energy program that he said could leave the Middle East “littered with nuclear bombs and a countdown to a potential nuclear nightmare.”
Referring to Netanyahu’s controversial remarks at Congress, Kerry said politics and external factors would not distract the P5+1 group from the talks.
“No one has presented a more viable, lasting alternative for how you actually prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon. So folks, simply demanding that Iran capitulate is not a plan. And nor would any of our P5+1 partners support us in that position,” he said.
The United States and Israel accuse Iran of pursuing military objectives in its nuclear energy program.
Washington and its allies have imposed illegal sanctions on Iran based on the unfounded accusation that Tehran is pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear program.
Iran rejects the allegation, arguing that as a committed signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and a member of the IAEA, it has the right to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.
In addition, the IAEA has conducted numerous inspections of Iran’s nuclear facilities but has never found any evidence showing that Iran’s civilian nuclear program has been diverted to nuclear weapons production.
However, Israel is widely believed to be the sole possessor of a nuclear arsenal in the Middle East with more than 200 undeclared nuclear warheads.
Tel Aviv has rejected global calls to join NPT and does not allow international inspectors to observe its controversial nuclear program.