Kerry Hopeful About Iran Talks

Kerry Hopeful About Iran Talks Kerry Hopeful About Iran Talks

The US secretary of state said there are grounds for hope to reach a deal in negotiations with Tehran over its nuclear program.

Asked in an interview with the Boston Globe published on Sunday whether he is optimistic that a final agreement could be struck, John Kerry said, "I've never said optimistic. I've always said hopeful. I'm hopeful."

"Could we get an agreement? For sure," he continued. "Could it fail? Yes."

On his first full day home after surgery on his femur, which he broke in a bike accident about two weeks ago, Kerry said he is eager to get back into the fray of diplomacy in nuclear talks between Iran and the major powers, aiming to iron out the details of the final deal by a June 30 deadline.

The talks are nearing their endgame, with critics aplenty in Washington and multiple hurdles remaining, including disagreements over how and when sanctions should be lifted in exchange for Iran accepting some temporary restrictions on its nuclear program.

"You know, some things have gotten hard. Some things are progressing," Kerry said when asked whether negotiations had stalled. "It's hard. It's a hard negotiation. We haven't talked to each other in 35 years. There's huge suspicion and huge stakes."

He said he was determined to keep working from the hospital.

He had several secure phone lines set up in his hospital room, ones that he used to call US President Barack Obama and hold strategy sessions with the US negotiating team in Vienna. He phoned foreign ministers and exchanged emails with his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif.

Kerry said if progress is made, he would be willing to go over the deadline by days but not weeks.

"If you don't get this done on the schedule, then mischief-makers step in everywhere," Kerry noted, referring to opponents of the deal.