Iran "running the clock" on nuclear talks, Kerry says
Iran is "running the clock," Secretary of State John Kerry says, with no agreement in sight out of negotiations to derail the country's pursuit of a nuclear weapon.
One day after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) that a "clear and credible military threat" is needed to thwart Iran's nuclear enrichment program "before it's too late," Kerry told CBS News correspondent Margaret Brennan that talks among P5+1 - a group committed to a diplomatic approach to Iran's nuclear program - have not yielded results.
"They're running the clock," Kerry said of Iran, but added, "I'm not going to speculate today as to when it runs out. Clearly, this is not just an indefinite period of negotiations.
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"We're not going to negotiate for the sake of negotiations," he continued. "They have to be productive."
Reminded of a statement by Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei that the country won't engage in negotiations with a gun to its head - a reference to dozens of sanctions imposed in recent years by the United States and the European Union - Kerry suggested the president might consider easing his pressure on Iran.
"Clearly, if Iran steps up in good faith, and is prepared to take steps to prove that their program is peaceful," Kerry said, "I'm confident President Obama will meet them in an appropriate way to get where we want to go, which is still a peaceful resolution of this problem."
Kerry echoed Vice President Joe Biden's remarks to AIPAC that while all options - including military force - are on the table with respect to Iran, the United States is not looking for war. Still, he said, there's been no agreement in Iran's talks with P5+1, which includes the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany, "so that's why the clock is ticking."
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