Hagel feels sorry for Kerry over no Iran deal

US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says he “felt sorry” for Secretary of State John Kerry after the US administration came under criticism for failing to help reach a deal in last week’s nuclear talks between Iran and the six world powers.

Speaking at the Defense One summit in Washington, Hagel supported the diplomatic approach toward settling the West’s dispute with Iran over its nuclear energy program.

“If we can move toward some common interest, move to some higher ground, to some possible potential resolution to a problem, aren’t we smarter to do that? Engagement is not surrender. It is not appeasement,” he said.

He criticized attacks on US President Barack Obama’s administration for failing to conclude an agreement between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany on Tehran’s nuclear energy work.

He said Washington has been at “some kind of unofficial war” with Tehran since the victory of Islamic Revolution in Iran, adding “it’s going to take time” to tackle political issues in negotiations.

On November 7, Iran and the six world powers – the US, France, Britain, Russia, China and Germany – kicked off intense discussions in Geneva which stretched into a third day.

The two sides did not reach an agreement, but stressed that significant progress had been made and expressed optimism about the prospect of a possible deal in the future.

A day after the talks, Kerry claimed that Iran is at fault for the failure of the Geneva talks to reach an agreement. Iran has dismissed the claim.

Despite Kerry’s remark, Washington insists that a deal with Iran is “quite possible.”

Political observers say France has been the main reason behind the failure to reach an agreement.

On November 9, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said in an interview that “Israel’s concerns” must be taken into consideration in the course of the negotiations, adding that there is “no certainty” whether Iran and six powers will reach an agreement at the current stage.

The next round of talks between Iran and the six countries is slated for November 20 in the Swiss city.

By Press TV

 

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