Kerry, Zarif hold surprise Iran talks in Munich

Kerry huddled with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif for the second time during their stay in the southern German city

Published: Updated:

Another extension to the deadline for reaching an agreement on Iran's nuclear program is in nobody's interest, although not reaching a deal would not be "the end of the world", Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Sunday.

"I don't think if we don't have an agreement it will be the end of the world," Zarif told the Munich Security Conference, where he met U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and German, Russian and British officials.

"But I do not believe another extension is in the interests of anybody as I did not believe this extension was either necessary or useful," he said, referring to the June 30 deadline for a deal to limit Iran's nuclear program in exchange for lifting sanctions.

Meanwhile, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Sunday he would go along with any nuclear deal with the six major powers if it did not go against the interests of his nation.

"I would go along with the agreement in the making," Khamenei said in a speech to air force personnel, as quoted by the official news agency IRNA, alluding to ongoing negotiations to reach a pact that would curb Iran's disputed nuclear work in return for a phased lifting of sanctions imposed on Tehran.

"Our (nuclear) negotiators are trying to take the weapon of sanctions away from the enemy. If they can, so much the better. If they fail, everyone should know there are many ways at our disposal to dull this weapon," he said.

Iran and the group known as the P5+1 -- Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States -- now want to conclude a political agreement by late March, with a final deadline pinning down the technical details by the end of June.

Kerry and Zarif have met many times, mostly in European cities, as they seek to thrash out the complex accord. But both men are under pressure from hardliners back home, with U.S. lawmakers threatening to try to unleash a new wave of sanctions on Iran after March.