Secretary of State John Kerry warned Thursday that the U.S. will not “sit at the negotiating table forever” as tensions surfaced between America and Russia over how to deal with a U.N. arms embargo as nuclear talks with Iran were in the end stage.
Kerry’s comments were the latest sign that the Obama administration would not be able to deliver a nuclear agreement to U.S. lawmakers before Friday, thus triggering a longer congressional review period.
The talks are making “real progress,” Kerry told reporters in Vienna. But while he insisted negotiators “will not be rushed,” he added that “if the tough decisions don’t get made, we are absolutely prepared to call an end to this process.”
The U.S., Britain, France, China, Germany and Russia have spent more than 18 months trying to hammer out a deal with Iran designed to curb its nuclear program in exchange for relief from international sanctions. A preliminary deal was reached in April, but the negotiators have already missed two deadlines for a final, comprehensive accord.