Kerry’s injury 'will not hamper Iran nuclear talks'

US Secretary of State John Kerry’s leg injury will not affect nuclear deal talks with Iran

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

Updated Jul 28, 2015

US State Department officials said on Monday that the US Secretary of State John Kerry’s broken leg will not change the deadline for a nuclear deal with Iran and Kerry will keep leading negotiations, even from home or his hospital bed, AP has reported.

After breaking his right femur in a bicycle accident, Kerry tweeted his longing to get back to State Department business.

Unable to join comprehensive nuclear deal talks, Kerry has spoken by phone with President Barack Obama and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, as well as the foreign ministers of France and Spain to convey his regrets for missing meetings with them this week in Europe.

“The secretary has made clear that he’s going to pursue an aggressive but responsible recovery schedule,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said.

The hopeful approach of State Department officials upon the recovery of John Kerry was interrupted by questions such as: What’s the recovery time for a 71-year-old man who’s already had hip replacements? Will painkillers hamper his ability to perform his duties? And how long will Kerry, known as an indefatigable traveler, be prevented from hopping continents?

State Department spokesperson Marie Harf stated those questions are better left answered after the orthopedic surgery.

Harf said that Kerry will undergo an operation although he travels on a US military C-17 transport plane staffed with medical personnel and equipment.

Such an injury can take months to heal if the patient is elderly. Therefore the time it will take Kerry to recover is unknown.

“The secretary is committed to pursuing an aggressive recovery schedule,” Harf said. 

“There are a range of possible recovery trajectories with an injury like this, and it’s, quite frankly, premature to speculate on the specifics of what that recovery will look like,” she added.

Doctors told AFP that in such cases a patient could be up and walking within three to four days, and would be expected to make a full recovery within two months.

Kerry broke his right leg in an accident while cycling in the Alps near Scionzier, France, on Sunday.

The accident occurred while Kerry was out cycling the day after meetings with his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif in Geneva to try to overcome obstacles in negotiations on curbing Tehran's nuclear programme.

After the accident, Kerry was flown to a hospital in Geneva. He’d planned on flying right back to Boston for treatment but ended up staying overnight in Switzerland as a precaution, the State Department announced.

The 71-year-old secretary of state is an avid cyclist and often takes his own bike on official trips abroad.

He had been due to travel to Madrid, Spain, later on Sunday before heading to Paris for a meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi and members of a US-supported coalition fighting against ISIS.

TRTWorld and agencies