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U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, right,  rides his bicycle in Lausanne, Switzerland, Monday, March 16, 2015 after talks over Iran's nuclear program. (Photo/Brian Snyder, Pool)

As Deadline Looms for Iran Talks, Kerry Breaks a Leg

Kerry had cleared his schedule for June to focus on Iran

Common Dreams staff

A day after Tehran rejected a key Western demand for nuclear site inspections, US Secretary of State John Kerry broke his right femur in a cycling accident in Scionzier, France, on Sunday morning, State Department spokesman John Kirby said.

After spending Sunday in a Geneva hospital, Kerry is to be transported to Boston on a specially equipped plane “outfitted to ensure he remains comfortable and stable throughout the flight,” according to a statement by Kirby.

Kerry had brought his personal bike to Geneva because he wanted to ride a small part of the route of the Tour de France, according to French media reports. He fell at the beginning of a route that was to take him through the Alpine pass known as Col de la Colombiere, in the French Alps, with an altitude of more than 5,000 feet.

With the deadline just a month away, a senior Iranian negotiator said Saturday the Geneva talks between Kerry and Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif have failed to bridge the differences between Tehran and other world powers. Kerry had cleared his travel schedule for June to focus on pushing an Iran deal over the finish line by the June 30th deadline.

But - it can take six months or more for a femur, the thighbone, to heal, depending on the nature of the break, according to CNN. The Washington Post reports that "Because Kerry fractured his leg on the same side where he also had a hip replacement, recovering might be a little tricky, according to Dr. Michael Kessler, an orthopedic surgeon and professor at Georgetown University’s School of Medicine."

It's clear that there is much left to be agreed to in order to close a deal. The “The differences are still there,” Abbas Araghchi, deputy head of Iran’s negotiating team, said Saturday. “We are committed to working to close the remaining gaps and to staying on the schedule we’ve set forth to get this done,” the Iranian official said.

“We’ve been very clear that we are not contemplating an extension at this point. June 30th is a real date,” a State Department official said before Kerry's accident.


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