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Kerry, Zarif Begin New Nuclear Talks

  • VOA News

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, left, discusses seating arrangements for a meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif for a new round of nuclear negotiations, in Montreux, Switzerland, March 2, 2015.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, left, discusses seating arrangements for a meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif for a new round of nuclear negotiations, in Montreux, Switzerland, March 2, 2015.

Top diplomats from the United States and Iran began another round of nuclear talks Monday, as Israel's prime minister prepares for a speech in Washington on the perils of a potential agreement with Tehran.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and his Iranian counterpart, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, met for an hour in the lakeside city of Montreux, Switzerland as part of ongoing discussions over the future of Iran's nuclear development.

"Right now no deal [with Iran] exists, no partial deal exists, and unless Iran is able to make the difficult decisions that will be required, there won't be a deal. Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed. That is the standard by which this negotiation is taking place and anyone who tells you otherwise is simply misinformed," Kerry told reporters ahead of the talks.

Also speaking to journalists in Geneva, Zarif said an end to economic sanctions on Iran are key in advancing a deal.

"Our negotiating partners, particularly the Western countries and particularly the United States, must once and for all, come to the political understanding that sanctions and agreement don't go together. If they want an agreement, sanctions must go,'' he said.

The meeting has rankled Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is poised to speak before a joint meeting of U.S. Congress on Tuesday about threats from Iran.

Netanyahu said that while the United States and Israel agreed on preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons, they disagreed on how to reach that goal.

Kerry and Zarif are expected to meet through Wednesday.

Some material for this report came from AP, AFP and Reuters.

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