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Kerry on Iran Nukes: No Deal Better than Bad Deal

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry speaks on a mobile phone after meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Tel Aviv, Israel, Nov. 8, 2013.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says international negotiations over Iran’s nuclear ambitions will continue, but the United States will not rush to get a deal. Kerry downplayed reports of differences between the United States and France at the latest round of talks concerning conditions Tehran would have to meet while a long-term solution is negotiated.

Kerry appeared on NBC’s Meet the Press program after talks in Geneva failed to yield an accord between Iran and the five permanent members of the Security Council plus Germany.

“We always said, President Obama has been crystal clear, do not rush. We are not in a rush. We need to get the right deal," Kerry said. "No deal is better than a bad deal. And we are certainly adhering to that concept.”

Kerry said the United States will pursue peaceful avenues to keep Iran from possessing a nuclear weapon, but added that President Barack Obama “has taken no option off the table.” In the meantime, he said the United States and France agree on the need for caution.

“And I would say a number of nations, not just the French but ourselves and others, wanted to make sure that we had the tough language necessary, the clarity in the language necessary to be absolutely certain that we were doing the job and not granting more or doing something sloppily that could wind up with a mistake," Kerry said. "This is serious business.”

Earlier, France said it was concerned that a proposed deal would not curb Iran's uranium enrichment. Israel, meanwhile, warned against any deal that would leave some of Iran's nuclear fuel-making capacity intact. Kerry sought to address objections voiced by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“Nobody has talked about getting rid of the current architecture of sanctions," Kerry said. "The pressure will remain. There will be, hopefully, if this is arrived at, a means of absolutely guaranteeing that while the negotiation on the real end game takes place, Iran’s program is not going to continue, is not going to grow. It seems to me that Israel is far safer if you make certain that Iran cannot continue the program.”

In Iran, President Hassan Rouhani said his country will not give up what it considers its nuclear rights, including uranium enrichment on Iranian soil, in any deal with international negotiators.

More on Iran's nuclear issue:

Nuclear Fuel Concerns Block Iran Agreement
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