Kerry to Join Iran-G5+1 Talks in Geneva
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - US Secretary of State John Kerry plans to travel to Geneva to join ongoing talks on Iran's nuclear programme, fueling hopes a historic deal may be in sight.
Tehran and world powers ended a first day of talks on Thursday with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif saying a deal could be reached "before we close these negotiations”.
Negotiators from Iran and six global powers are meeting for two days in Geneva to broker a deal on Iran's nuclear issue.
Western powers suspect Iran's uranium enrichment may be aimed at developing nuclear weapons, a claim Tehran strongly denies.
Kerry will go to the Swiss city "in an effort to help narrow differences in negotiations" and at the invitation of EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, a senior State Department official said.
Upending an 11-day tour mostly of the Middle East, Kerry was due to arrive in Geneva later on Friday for the talks which had dragged for years until new Iranian President Hassan Rouhani came to power in August, Al Jazeera reported.
Kerry, who was in Amman on Thursday, will first fly to Tel Aviv to meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and his surprise decision to go to Geneva is expected to infuriate key US ally, Israel.
Iran's Zarif was due to meet early on Friday with EU diplomatic chief Ashton, who is chairing the talks on behalf of the P5+1 group of world powers - permanent UN Security Council members Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States, plus Germany.
"There is a window of opportunity now that has been created by the Iranian people... and that opportunity needs to be seized," Zarif said.