VIENNA: The United States and other major powers are not in a rush to reach a nuclear deal with Iran, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Thursday, suggesting an accord was unlikely hours ahead of a deadline set by the U.S. Congress for a quick review.
In another sign an agreement was not at hand, a senior Iranian official accused the United States and others nations of shifting their positions and backtracking on an April 2 interim agreement that was meant to lay the ground for a final deal.
The comments suggested Iran and the major powers – Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States – have a way to go to reach a deal under which Iran would curb its nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.
However, Kerry said Washington’s patience was not unlimited. We can’t wait forever,” he said. “If the tough decisions don’t get made, we are absolutely prepared to call an end to this.”
He did not say how much longer the talks could continue. Shortly after Kerry spoke, the White House said the talks would not likely drag on for “many more weeks.”
Briefing reporters on condition of anonymity, the senior Iranian official sought to put the onus on the West for any failure to reach an agreement.
“There have been changes of position … particularly since last night,” said the official, “Suddenly everyone has their own red lines. Britain has its red line, the U.S. has its red line, France, Germany…”