U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry warned Friday of significant differences between Iran and six world powers trying to fashion a nuclear agreement, as he and three European foreign ministers added their weight to try to narrow the gap.
Officials with delegations at the negotiating table had expressed optimism about progress achieved in Thursday's full day of talks. But comments from Kerry and his counterparts from Britain, France and Germany after they arrived in Geneva clearly indicated that some obstacles remain in the way of any agreement offering sanctions reductions for nuclear concessions.
Kerry arrived from Tel Aviv after talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu where he tried to defuse Israeli concerns about the Geneva talks. Israel is strongly critical of any deal that even slightly lifts sanctions unless Iran is totally stripped of technology that can make nuclear arms.
Despite the lack of confirmation that an accord is within reach, Netanyahu said ahead of meeting Kerry that he `'utterly rejects" the `'bad deal" he said was in the making.
The talks are primarily focused on the size and output of Iran's enrichment program, which can create both reactor fuel and weapons-grade material suitable for a nuclear bomb. Iran insists it is pursuing only nuclear energy, medical treatments and research, but the United States and its allies fear that Iran could turn this material into the fissile core of nuclear warheads.
In Geneva, Kerry suggested it was too early to speak of any deal. He told reporters on arrival that "important gaps ... still remain."
- Imogen Foulkes, BBC correspondent in Geneva. She tweets @ImogenFoulkes.
This segment aired on November 8, 2013.
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