Kerry Holds Rare Face-to-Face Talks with Iran’s FM

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry held a rare face-to-face meeting with Iran’s foreign minister Sunday, saying there is an opportunity for progress on nuclear talks.

Kerry spoke with Mohammad Javad Zarif in a New York City hotel for more than an hour.

Both are in New York for this week’s U.N. General Assembly. A U.S. official said Kerry intends to move forward this week on the nuclear talks and will meet again with Zarif as needed.

Iran and the Group of 5 plus one – Britain, China, France, Russia, the U.S. and Germany – face a November deadline for an agreement for Iran to curb its uranium enrichment in exchange for the West lifting sanctions it imposed on Tehran.

The U.S. believes Iran is looking to build a nuclear bomb. Iran says its nuclear program is strictly for peaceful civilian purposes.

U.S. officials say Kerry and Zarif also talked about the fight against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. Kerry has said there will be no military cooperation with Iran, but has not ruled out some kind of Iranian contribution.

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