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Kerry warns no Iran deal if concerns left unanswered

Update: June, 25/2015 - 11:01
US Secretary of State John F. Kerry listens during a meeting at the US State Department in Washington DC, June 24, 2015.  - AFP/VNA Photo

WASHINGTON – Top US diplomat John Kerry has warned there would be no deal with Iran if it fails to satisfy all lingering questions about its nuclear program, as he prepares to head back to tough negotiations.

Firing the starting gun on what is set to be the last phase of a gruelling diplomatic marathon to stop Iran acquiring a nuclear bomb, the State Department announced Kerry would be leaving on Friday for Vienna.

"It may be that the Iranians will not fill out the full measure of what was agreed on in Lausanne, in which case there will not be an agreement," Kerry told reporters.

He was referring to the parameters of a deal to stop Iran getting a nuclear bomb agreed on April 2 in Switzerland, under which Tehran pledged to cut back its nuclear activities in return for a lifting of international sanctions.

Whether or not Iran can satisfy the world that its nuclear program is entirely peaceful "will be determined in the last days, by whether or not the outstanding issues that we've been very clear about are in fact addressed," Kerry said.

"If they are not addressed there won't be a deal," the US secretary of state stressed again.

He said he was leaving on Friday for Vienna "and I look forward to finding out whether or not we will give the full-throated definition that this effort deserves."

The world needed not just any agreement but a deal "to guarantee that this is peaceful program. It's that simple."

It will be the first overseas trip for the 71-year-old Kerry since he fell off his bike in late May after a round of talks with his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif and broke his right leg. He is still walking on crutches. -- AFP

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