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Iran nuclear talks, Islamic State fight not linked, Kerry says

Secretary of State says nuclear negotiations with Iran and fighting the Islamic State are separate issues

By UPI Staff
Iran nuclear talks, Islamic State fight not linked, Kerry says
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry holds a press conference on his meetings to Chinese and foreign journalists during the 26th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Ministerial Meeting being held at the China National Convention Center in Beijing on November 8, 2014. UPI/Stephen Shaver | License Photo

BEIJING, Nov. 8 (UPI) -- Despite questions that have been raised following the letter President Barack Obama reportedly sent to Iran's leader, Secretary of State John Kerry insists there is no connection between Iran's nuclear program and the ongoing fight against the Islamic State.

Addressing reporters at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting in Beijing, Kerry said there are no ties between reaching a nuclear accord with Iran and the goal of stopping Islamic State's advances.

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"The nuclear negotiations are on their own, they're standing separate from anything else, and no discussion has ever taken place about linking one thing to another," Kerry said.

Kerry, like White House officials, refused to comment on a letter President Obama is said to have written last month to Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Reports have said the letter suggests cooperation in fighting terrorism in Iraq and Syria could be tied to Iran's nuclear negotiations.

But according to Kerry, "No conversation, no agreement, no exchange, nothing has created any kind of a deal or agreement with respect to any of the events that are at stake in the Middle East."

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A deadline of Nov. 24 has been set for Iran's negotiations with the U.S. and five other countries about its nuclear program.

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