His comments came as France said on Monday that world powers were close to an agreement with Iran on its disputed nuclear drive, despite failure to reach a deal at crunch talks in Geneva on the weekend.

Kerry's remarks also come as Israel and the US are locked in a bitter war of words over the negotiations to halt Iran's nuclear drive, which is believed to be a front for developing a military capability.

"Our hope is that in the next months we can find an agreement that meets everyone's standards," Kerry told reporters in Abu Dhabi.

"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," he said.

The top US diplomat insisted that a deal with the Islamic republic would protect Israel and other allies.

"We are confident that what we are doing will protect Israel more effectively," he said.

In recent days Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has furiously denounced the emerging agreement as "dangerous" while his defence minister, Moshe Yaalon, called it a "historical mistake."

Kerry insisted that the United States has the interests of ally Israel at heart and that he shares Netanyahu's "deep concerns".

"But I believe the prime minister needs to recognize that no agreement has been reached about the endgame here that's the subject of the negotiations," Kerry said.

He said sanctions were imposed on Iran to force it to negotiate.

"And if we had to turn to a military option, because we are left no other option, we must show the world we've exhausted every possible remedy and opportunity."

(Agencies)

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