In a meeting on nuclear disarmament, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry encouraged the continuing negotiations between the United States and Iran, saying that a deal between the longtime foes is “closer than ever.”
While the Iran negotiations have dominated global headlines for months, the global gathering at the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) conference focused more on nuclear disarmament between the United States and Russia, who have 90 percent of the world’s nuclear weapons, The Guardian reports.
While Kerry was optimistic about Iran, his tone changed when discussing Russia and other nations who continue to threaten other countries and have a stockpile of nuclear weaponry.
“I know as well as anyone that we have a long way to go” to achieve a nuclear-free globe, Kerry said. He also said that “we know that we can cut back even further,” referring to possible future negotiations to curb nuclear activity around the world.
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The meeting was the first time that Kerry has met with Iranian foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, since a deal was reached on Iran’s nuclear energy program on April 2. A deadline to achieve a final agreement is set for June 30.
Other nations were more concerned about North Korea’s nuclear weapons program, which has been an issue for many nations around the world for nearly a decade. Nearby countries Japan and South Korea voiced the most concern during the meeting, with Kerry calling North Korea “the most glaring example” of a nation that is doing everything in their power to ignore international law and peace talks.
Despite a deal with Iran currently forming, the United States continues to have issues with the hostile nation. On April 27, the Iran Revolutionary Guard attacked a commercial cargo ship from the Marshall Islands after it crossed into the Strait of Hormuz. Earlier today, the attacked ship called on the U.S. Navy for assistance in the matter, CNN reports.
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