Washington (AFP) - US Secretary of State John Kerry will travel to Geneva this weekend to meet with his Iranian counterpart amid a push to seal a landmark nuclear deal by June 30, US officials said Wednesday.
Kerry will meet with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in the Swiss city on Saturday, State Department press office director Jeff Rathke told reporters.
The two men, who last met in New York in late April, will meet as part of "the ongoing EU-coordinated P5+1 negotiations," Rathke said.
He was referring to a group of countries -- Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States -- who have been leading the talks to cut back Iran's nuclear ambitions.
Kerry's trip to Geneva will come as part of a new overseas tour which will first take him to Nigeria to attend the inauguration of Muhammadu Buhari as the country's new president.
From his Geneva talks, the top US diplomat will travel to Spain on his first visit as secretary of state to the country.
"He will meet with King Felipe VI, President Rajoy, and Foreign Minister Garcia-Margallo to discuss a range of bilateral and global issues," Rathke said.
And on June 2, Kerry will lead the US delegation to a meeting in Paris on combating the Islamic State militant group to "review progress on the full range of our shared efforts to degrade and defeat ISIL."
Earlier Wednesday, Iranian negotiator Abbas Araghchi said that the nuclear talks, aimed at putting an atomic bomb outside of Iran's reach, could extend beyond the June 30 deadline.
The issue of access to military sites has emerged as a potential deal-breaker and French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said that Paris would oppose any deal that did not allow for such inspections.
The deal is aimed at preventing Iran from developing the atomic bomb in exchange for an easing of crippling economic sanctions.
The two sides signed a framework agreement on April 2 and began meeting in Vienna on Wednesday to start finalizing a deal which is due by June 30.