Updated at 7:00 a.m. Eastern
Abu Dhabi U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Monday that the major powers were unified on an Iran nuclear deal during weekend talks in Geneva but the Iranians were unable to accept it. He also said critics of the plan should withhold their comments until a deal is reached.
Speaking to reporters in Abu Dhabi, Kerry said the United States and its negotiating partners were unified on Saturday when the proposal was presented to the Iranians.
"The French signed off on it, we signed off on it," Kerry said.
Earlier reports said that thebecause France refused to accept the deal with Iran. But on Monday, Kerry said that the major powers reached an agreement after a marathon bargaining session but Iran wasn't able to accept the deal "at that particular moment."
"There was unity but Iran couldn't take it," he said.
Kerry's comments come as Iran state TV reported that a deal for expanded monitoring has been reached with U.N. nuclear chief Yukiya Amano, which would allow U.N. inspectors a broader reach of access, including uranium mines and under construction heavy water reactors.
Kerry also said that that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's rejection of a deal to limit Iran's nuclear ambitions was premature.
"The time to oppose it is when you see what it is, not to oppose the effort to find out what is possible," Kerry said.
He said the U.S. has "been meeting constantly" with the Israelis to understand the progress Iran has made in its nuclear program. "We are confident that what we are doing can actually protect Israel more effectively and provide greater security," he said.
Kerry said there is no "end game" in motion and the Geneva talks were a first step in longer process of possible give and take.
Tehran has been eager to reach an agreement to easethat have halted most oil exports and crippled the county's economy.
CBS News correspondent Elizabeth Palmer reports the negotiators are to return to Geneva on Nov. 20, and there are signs Iran is in fact preparing to sign some kind of agreement.