Kerry to Join Final Nuclear Talks with Iran despite Injury
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – US Secretary of State John Kerry will travel to Europe this month for the final days of nuclear negotiations with Iran although he is still hospitalized days after he broke his leg in a biking accident.
A senior US administration official said the 71-year-old former senator is eager to rejoin the talks in person before negotiators reach their self-imposed deadline of June 30 to wrap up a comprehensive accord.
"When he needs to be there, he will be there," the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the talks, said in a conference call with reporters.
Kerry, who has led the US team in the grueling seven-country negotiations, broke his femur and damaged a replacement hip when he fell off his bicycle in France on May 31.
His hospitalization in Boston is longer than usual for a broken limb, and State Department officials have declined to predict when he will be released. He has worked on the Iran talks and other high-priority diplomatic issues by phone, officials said.
Iran and the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, France, US, Britain, and Germany) have held several rounds of talks in recent months to hammer out a lasting accord that would end more than a decade of impasse over Tehran's civilian nuclear program.
On April 2, Iran and the sextet reached a framework nuclear agreement in Lausanne, Switzerland, with both sides committed to push for a final deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), until the end of June.
Diplomats and private experts say the landmark agreement is likely to be completed, though some tough issues are still undecided, LA Times reported.
It's expected that foreign ministers, including Kerry, will join the group for the final days of talks, as they did in March, though no precise schedule has been released.