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Kerry: 'No Rush' in Diplomacy with Iran on Nuclear Program

Image: Kerry: 'No Rush' in Diplomacy with Iran on Nuclear Program

By Amy Woods   |   Sunday, 10 Nov 2013 11:08 AM

Secretary of State John Kerry said Sunday no option, including the use of military force, has been taken off the table following failed attempts during the weekend to reach an agreement with Iran on the country's nuclear-weapons program.

Kerry said on NBC's "Meet the Press" the goal of preventing Iran from producing weapons of mass destruction remains the focus of the negotiations, and it is a matter of time before it is achieved.

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"I think it's a question…of working out the modalities by which it will be done," Kerry said. "President Obama has been crystal clear – 'Don't rush. We're not in a rush. We need to get the right deal. No deal is better than a bad deal.' And we are certainly adhering to that concept."

World leaders gathered in Geneva on Saturday to negotiate, and it seemed a deal with newly elected Iranian President Hassan Rouhani was imminent. After emerging from the failed talks, Kerry told television host David Gregory the economic sanctions the United States has placed on Iran will keep the pressure on.

"The pressure will remain," Kerry said. "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.

"We voted for these sanctions in order to bring Iran to the negotiating table," he continued. "Now that they're there, you have to act in some good faith in an effort to be able to move towards the goal you want to achieve."

Kerry said Obama "has made it clear he will not reduce or change the overall core architecture of the oil sanctions, banking sanctions. Iran will still be under enormous pressure precisely to complete the task."

When asked whether he was being skeptical enough about Rouhani, whom Gregory said has been described as "a wolf in sheep's clothing" in his dealings with the West, Kerry answered, "We are not blind, and I don’t think we're stupid."

"We're not going in to a full deal and giving away something," he continued. "We're talking about stopping their program where it is with enough guarantees to know that it is, in fact, stopped where it is while we then negotiate the full measure of the deal."

Kerry said Obama hasn't ruled out the use of force to deal with Iran's nuclear program.

"The president has been willing and made it clear that he is prepared to use force with respect to Iran's weapon, and he has deployed the forces and the weapons necessary to achieve that goal if it has to be achieved."

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