Kerry's Remarks Could Prove Helpful

Kerry's Remarks Could Prove HelpfulKerry's Remarks Could Prove Helpful

A former nuclear negotiator said the recent comments by US Secretary of State John Kerry might be "helpful" in resolving the complexities in negotiations between Iran and the major powers on Tehran's nuclear work.

Kerry's "recent remarks can be helpful. However, we should wait to see how they will affect the ongoing talks in Vienna," Sirous Nasseri told IRNA on Saturday.

Kerry suggested that Washington would not insist that Iran answer unresolved questions about its past nuclear activities.

Speaking to reporters via teleconference on Wednesday, Kerry said, "We're not fixated on Iran specifically accounting for what they did at one point in time or another," Reuters reported.

"What we're concerned about is going forward," Kerry said. "It's critical to us to know that going forward, those (alleged military) activities have been stopped, and that we can account for that in a legitimate way."

Kerry's remarks seem to have been intended to end an "apparent standoff in negotiations," Nasseri said.

US officials had previously said Iran should answer a set of queries the International Atomic Energy Agency has about what its calls possible military dimensions of Iran's nuclear program and that some sanctions relief under a possible nuclear deal would depend on resolving those questions.

Tehran says the agency's evidence about past weapons-related activities is fabricated and insists its nuclear program is peaceful.

Nasseri said there are both positive and negative aspects to Kerry's words.

The positive side is that "it is unnecessary to be stuck in the past," he explained, adding, "The negative is that (Kerry) says they already know what has happened, implying the allegation that Iran has been seeking to develop a nuclear weapon is true."

Kerry said, "We know what they (the Iranians) did. We have no doubt. We have absolute knowledge with respect to the certain military activities they were engaged in."

"It is in the interest of both sides to (quickly) wrap up discussions about past issues with Iran's nuclear program" for the talks to move on to the next stage, Nasseri said.