No Iran nuclear deal yet, says Kerry in Geneva

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No Iran nuclear deal yet, says Kerry in Geneva

No Iran nuclear deal yet, says Kerry in Geneva
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The US Secretary of State says no agreement has been reached yet between world powers and Iran over its nuclear programme.

John Kerry cut short his tour of the Middle East to come to Geneva unexpectedly for talks with his Iranian counterpart Javad Zarif, amid speculation that a deal was imminent.

It is thought Iran might agree to limit its nuclear programme in return for a partial lifting of sanctions.

“I want to emphasise there are still some very important issues on the table that are unresolved. It is important for those to be thoroughly and properly addressed. I want to emphasise there is not an agreement at this point but the P5 is working hard,” Kerry told reporters upon his arrival.

The world powers involved in talks with Iran are the US, UK, France, Russia and China – the five permanent members of the UN Security Council – plus Germany. The group is known as the P5+1.

The presence of other Western foreign ministers in Geneva added to a sense of optimism. In London Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron said the talks offered the chance of “real progress”.

But diplomats say a breakthrough is uncertain and would anyway only mark the first step in a long process.

“Today, we need to start putting it on paper so that we have a draft, a joint draft. Not two separate drafts that we will start negotiating over but a joint draft that we can both call our own,” said Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif before Friday’s talks started.

Watching the talks closely, Israel has said it utterly rejects what Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says would be the “deal of the century” for Iran.

It believes Iran’s enrichment facilities should be dismantled before any sanctions are lifted.

Euronews correspondent in Geneva Fariba Mavaddat said: “There’s a sense here that these talks are shifting into a final phase, with a series of individual bi-lateral meetings between Iran and the other foreign ministers. And that makes it look as though there’s a long night ahead.”