John Kerry in Lausanne, Switzerland, March 21, 2015.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
LAUSANNE - US Secretary of State John Kerry said on Saturday talks with Iran on curbing its nuclear program have made "genuine progress" and it was time to make "hard decisions" to reach a framework accord.
"We are not rushing ... but we recognize that fundamental decisions have to be made now and they don't get any easier as time goes by," Kerry said.
"We have not yet reached the finish line but make no mistake we have the opportunity to try to get this right," Kerry said, "It is a matter of political will and tough decision making ... and we must all choose wisely in the days ahead," he added.
He said he would meet his European counterparts in London later on Saturday to discuss how to resolve remaining unresolved issues with Iran and would return to Lausanne next week "to determine whether or not an agreement is possible". France's foreign minister said earlier
on Saturday that his country wanted an agreement over Iran's nuclear program that was sufficiently robust to guarantee that Tehran could not acquire an atomic bomb.
"France wants an agreement, but a robust one that really guarantees that Iran can have access to civilian nuclear power, but not the atomic bomb," Laurent Fabius told Europe 1 radio.
Iran and six world powers suspended negotiations on a nuclear agreement on Friday and are set to meet again next week to break a deadlock over sensitive atomic research and lifting of sanctions. France has been demanding more stringent restrictions on the Iranians under any deal than the other Western delegations, officials said.