ABU DHABI (AFP) - United States Secretary of State John Kerry said on Monday Iran had backed out of the Geneva deal that he assured would help protect Israel "more effectively".
"Our hope is that, in the next months, we can find an agreement that meets everyone's standards," said Mr Kerry, echoing an announcement by France that world powers were close to a long-awaited deal with Iran on its disputed nuclear programme.
"The P5+1 was unified on Saturday when we presented our proposal to the Iranians... But Iran couldn't take it; at that particular moment they weren't able to accept," said Mr Kerry.
In the remarks he made to reporters during a visit to the United Arab Emirates capital, Mr Kerry reassured Israel that the deal would better protect it.
"What we are doing will protect Israel more effectively," he said as the US and Israel were locked in an escalating war of words over the negotiations.