GENEVA (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Monday there had been some progress in talks with Iran on its nuclear program but there was “a long way to go and the clock is ticking”.
He also voiced concern about the possibility of selective leaks about the talks, which he will resume with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in Montreux, Switzerland.
“We are concerned by reports that suggest selective details of the ongoing negotiations will be discussed publicly in the coming days,” Kerry told reporters in Geneva, in what seemed an allusion to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech on Tuesday to the U.S. Congress.
“I want to say clearly that doing so would make it more difficult to reach the goal that Israel and others say they share in order to get to a good deal,” Kerry said. “Israel’s security is absolutely at the forefront of all of our minds, but frankly so is the security of all of the other countries in the region. So is our security in the United States.”
Netanyahu says he fears that U.S. President Barack Obama’s Iran diplomacy, with an end-of-March deadline for a framework accord, will allow Israel’s arch-foe to develop atomic weapons. U.S. officials rule out such an outcome from any negotiated settlement.
The United States and some of its allies, notably Israel, suspect that Iran is using its civilian nuclear program as a cover to develop nuclear weapons. Iran denies this, saying its program is for peaceful purposes such as generating electricity.
Reporting by Arshad Mohammed and Stephanie Nebehay, editing by Mark Heinrich