Secretary of State John KerryJohn KerryPressure grows for breakthrough in Biden agenda talks Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by ExxonMobil — Climate divides conservative Democrats in reconciliation push Equilibrium/Sustainability — Presented by Altria — Walrus detectives: Scientists recruit public to spot mammal from space MORE on Saturday said there is no link between Iran nuclear negotiations and cooperation on fighting the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS.)
Kerry said the nuclear negations stand apart from any other issue. He would also not confirm a reported letter President Obama sent to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
"There is no linkage whatsoever of the nuclear discussions with any other issue, and I want to make that absolutely clear," Kerry said in Beijing, at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit.
"The nuclear negotiations are on their own, they are standing separate from anything else, and no discussion has ever taken place about linking one thing to another, one involvement with another, that I am aware of," he added.
Reports surfaced earlier this week that President Obama sent a letter to Iran's supreme leader last month, in which he allegedly said that cooperation in Iraq and Syria could hinge on Iran coming to a nuclear agreement in negotiations with the United States and five other countries.
The White House has not confirmed or denied the letter. Kerry said he would not comment on any private conversation Obama may or may not have had.
"I will tell you this, though: No conversation, no agreement, no exchange, nothing has created any kind of a deal or agreement with respect to any of the events that are at stake in the Middle East," he said.
Kerry is slated to meet with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif on Sunday to start two days of talks surrounding the nuclear negotiations.
The secretary said he hopes the talks can "close real gaps that still exist" ahead of the Nov. 24 deadline. The talks were extended once before in July and officials have not ruled out another extension.
The interim agreement last year to secure negotiations scaled back some economic sanctions on Iran in exchange for the country freezing its disputed nuclear weapons program and diluting its enriched uranium.