By Rebecca Shabad - 07/01/14 09:07 AM EDT
Secretary of State John Kerry stressed late Monday that time is running out to strike a final nuclear deal with Iran.
In an op-ed published in The Washington Post, Kerry sought to put pressure on Iran to reach a final deal.
“They can agree to the steps necessary to assure the world that their country’s nuclear program will be exclusively peaceful and not be used to build a weapon, or they can squander a historic opportunity to end Iran’s economic and diplomatic isolation and improve the lives of their people,” Kerry wrote.
“Our negotiators will be working constantly in Vienna between now and July 20. There may be pressure to put more time on the clock,” said Kerry, who added that all sides must agree to an extension.
Diplomats from the P5+1, the United States; Great Britain; Germany; France; China, and Iran have until July 20 to reach a final deal.
Iran has so far been meeting its end of the bargain, Kerry explained, by abiding by the interim deal in effect.
“Specifically, Iran has been eliminating its stockpile of higher levels of enriched uranium, limited its enrichment capability by not installing or starting up additional centrifuges, refrained from making further advances at its enrichment facilities and heavy-water reactor, and allowed new and more frequent inspections,” he said.
Kerry’s case came just a day before the U.S. delegation departed for Vienna for another round of nuclear negotiations. Among those attending the talks is Vice President Biden’s national security adviser Jake Sullivan.