US & Canada

Kerry injury will not slow Iran talks, US officials say

US Secretary of State John Kerry rides his bike during a break in Lausanne on 16 March 2015 Image copyright AFP
Image caption Mr Kerry often brings his bicycle along to diplomatic summits

Negotiations with Iran about its nuclear programme will continue despite US Secretary of State John Kerry's recent injury, US officials say.

Mr Kerry, 71, was cycling in France when he hit kerb and broke his leg.

He arrived back in the US late on Monday and will be treated at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

It remains unclear how his injury will affect his work as the top diplomat for the US.

He is due to have surgery later on Tuesday.

On the flight back Mr Kerry tweeted with #Onward, "Headed back to Boston. Look fwd to getting leg set & getting back to @StateDept! Meantime, work goes on."

Mr Kerry had been holding talks over the future of Iran's nuclear program in Geneva, Switzerland, one day before his accident.

Experts see any potential agreement as a key diplomatic achievement for the Obama administration.

The deadline to build on the already achieved "framework agreement" is the 30 June.

State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf told reporters on Monday the deadline would not change.

"To be very clear, the secretary is absolutely committed to moving forward with the negotiations, to proceeding with them on the exact same timetable as before his accident," Ms Harf said.

Mr Kerry was unable to attend recent scheduled meetings in Madrid and Paris in person.

Mr Kerry remotely participated in Monday's Paris conference, which has convened the nations who oppose IS.

"I would love to see anyone at the hospital try to stop @JohnKerry from negotiating and working while recovering from breaking his leg," tweeted Jen Psaki, a former State Department spokeswoman.

Medical experts have told US media that it often takes six months to recover from a fractured femur.

Since the accident, Mr Kerry has spoken to President Barack Obama and to Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, according to the State Department.