US Secretary of State John Kerry only taking pain relief medicine for his broken leg: Report

Secretary of State John Kerry speaks to the press on crutches after being discharged from Massachusetts General Hospital on June 12, 2015 in Boston, Massachusetts. Mr Kerry is taking nothing more than pain relief medicine Tylenol for his broken
Secretary of State John Kerry speaks to the press on crutches after being discharged from Massachusetts General Hospital on June 12, 2015 in Boston, Massachusetts. Mr Kerry is taking nothing more than pain relief medicine Tylenol for his broken leg following his low-speed bike accident, he said in an interview published on Sunday, June 14. -- PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (AFP) - United States Secretary of State John Kerry is taking nothing more than pain relief medicine Tylenol for his broken leg following his low-speed bike accident, he said in an interview published on Sunday.

Mr Kerry, who remains deeply engaged in the Iranian nuclear talks that have taken place over the past 18 months, told the Boston Globe that the narcotics doctors prescribed for him were having undesired effects.

"All I'm taking is Tylenol," he told the paper in an interview on Saturday. "After I got two or three days in, I said, 'You've got to stop this crap.'"

The 71-year-old diplomat was released from the hospital on Friday after breaking his right femur on May 31 in a fall on his bicycle in the French Alps. He had gone on the ride during a working visit to Geneva for talks with his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif on Tehran's nuclear programme.

Mr Kerry told the Globe he became distracted by motorcycles speeding ahead.

"I'm just navigating my way at about two miles an hour (3 kmh)... and this curb appears out of nowhere while I'm focused on the motorcycle," Mr Kerry said. "And the bike just freezes."

After flying back to Boston for surgery, performed by a physician who already replaced both of his hips, secure phone lines were set up in his hospital room so that he could keep working, Mr Kerry told the paper.

In April, Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany agreed in the Swiss city of Lausanne to the outlines of a deal aimed at ending the decade-old standoff over Iran's nuclear programme. The framework is due to be finalized by June 30.

"Could we get an agreement? For sure," Mr Kerry said. "Could it fail? Yes."

He told the Globe that he had never said he was optimistic about the process: "I've always said hopeful. I'm hopeful."

He also said he was looking forward to getting back on his bike, but with one difference.

"I'm not going to look at the motorcycle instead of what's right in front of me."