U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry noted on Monday that Iran was quickly running out of options and time to avoid further collective international actions over its disputed nuclear program, and urged Tehran to negotiate in "good faith" during the upcoming nuclear talks with the six world powers in Kazakhstan.
Kerry, who is currently in Britain as part of his nine-nation trip to Europe and the Middle East, made the remarks while addressing a joint press conference with British Foreign Secretary William Hague in London.
"As we've said again and again, an Iran with a nuclear weapon in that region, and given all that has happened, is simply unacceptable. And we have stated that they will not obtain a nuclear weapon. President Obama has been crystal clear about this," Kerry said.
"The window for a diplomatic solution simply cannot by definition remain open forever. But it is open today. It is open now. There is still time but there is only time if Iran makes the decision to come to the table and negotiate in good faith," he said.
"We are prepared to negotiate in good faith, in mutual respect, in an effort to avoid whatever terrible consequences could follow failure. And so the choice really is in the hands of the Iranians, and we hope they will make the right choice," Kerry added.
Meanwhile, Hague said Britain and the United States firmly believed that Iran's nuclear program posed a threat to the peace and security of the world. Urging Tehran to approach the upcoming talks in good faith, Hague warned the Islamic Republic not to "doubt our resolve to ensure that nuclear proliferation in the Middle East is prevented."
The remarks from the the duo came just a day before the next round of nuclear talks between Iran and the P5+1 group of nations comprising the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany, that begin in the Kazakh city of Almaty.
The P5+1 nations have already held three rounds of unsuccessful negotiations with Iran last year under the leadership of EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton. The first round of negotiations was held in Istanbul, Turkey, in April, followed by talks in the Iraqi capital Baghdad in May and in Moscow in June.
Although Iran insists its nuclear work is intended for peaceful civilian purposes, the West suspects the claim to be a cover-up for the country's nuclear weapon ambitions. Iran is currently reeling under four round of U.N. sanctions as well as separate sanctions imposed by the U.S. and its allies over Tehran's refusal to halt uranium enrichment.
by RTT Staff Writer
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