Secretary of State John KerryJohn KerryFormer Obama officials say Netanyahu turned down secret peace deal: AP How dealmaker Trump can resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict John Kerry to teach at Yale on global issues MORE on Monday said France endorsed an Iranian nuclear deal in Geneva, but Iran walked away from it. [WATCH VIDEO]
“The French signed off on it; we signed off on it,” Kerry said, according to reports. “There was unity, but Iran couldn’t take it,” he said at a news conference in Abu Dhabi, the last leg of his trip overseas.
Over the weekend, Kerry and representatives from France, Germany, Russia, Britain and China, also known as the P5+1, failed to reach a deal with Iran on its nuclear program.
A number of reports initially said France had been the one to reject the deal.
Kerry also addressed criticism from the Israeli government over the negotiations at Monday's news conference.
“The time to oppose it is when you see what it is, not to oppose the effort to find out what is possible,” he said.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other Israeli officials, including President Shimon Peres, have slammed the proposal in the last few days.
The latest round of negotiations collapsed because the U.S. and its allies would not allow language that could have given Iran the green light to enrich, reports say. Such language, experts say, would likely have to be part of a final deal, however, according to The New York Times.
“Our hope is that in the next months we can find an agreement that meets everyone’s standards,” Kerry said.
Meanwhile, the United Nations' nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, struck a deal Monday with Iran for its investigators to inspect more of the country’s nuclear sites.
The agreement could help propel the Geneva talks forward once the P5+1 reconvene.
Kerry returns to the U.S. Monday, and is expected to brief members of Congress this week on the stalled talks as lawmakers weigh whether to push for tougher sanctions against Iran.