LONDON — Secretary of State John Kerry said Sunday the window for diplomacy with Iran over its nuclear program is ‘‘cracking open’’ but added the United States would not settle for a bad deal.
Kerry made the comments in a speech via satellite from London to a foreign policy conference in California by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the most powerful pro-Israel lobbying organization in the United States.
‘‘While we seek a peaceful resolution to Iran’s nuclear program, words must be matched with actions,’’ Kerry said in prepared remarks. “In any engagement with Iran, we are mindful of Israel’s security needs. We are mindful of the need for certainty, transparency, and accountability in the process. And I believe firmly that no deal is better than a bad deal.’’
Abbas Araghchi, a top Iranian negotiator, said Sunday Tehran will not send any of its enriched uranium abroad as part of a deal with world powers to ease sanctions over its contested nuclear program.
Araghchi’s comments published on Iranian state television’s website came ahead of new negotiations between Iran and the five permanent UN Security Council members and Germany in Geneva on Tuesday and Wednesday.
International sanctions over the nuclear program continue to batter Iran’s economy. Iran insists its nuclear program is peaceful and only seeks reactors for energy and medical use, while the West suspects Iran seeks to make a nuclear weapon.
Earlier Sunday, Kerry and European Union’s foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, held talks on Iran, Syria, Egypt, and other matters.