The diplomatic repercussions of John Kerry’s broken leg

The official response to news that Secretary of State John Kerry broke his leg in France on Sunday is: business as usual.

“The secretary continues to be in great spirits and active,” State Department spokesman John Kirby said. “He has done a range of phone calls including with the president.”

Buried at the end of an AP report comes this:

The prospect of a lengthy rehabilitation could hamper the nuclear talks [with Iran] and other diplomatic endeavors. Even if Kerry does not need surgery, it was not immediately known when he could fly again after returning to the United States.

Kerry has been the lead negotiator in several marathon sessions with Iran going back to 2013.

And Kerry’s injury comes just days after this news:

President Obama’s chief negotiator with Iran, Wendy R. Sherman, said on Wednesday that she planned to leave the administration shortly after the June 30 deadline for a final deal on limiting the country’s nuclear program.

“It’s been two long years,” Ms. Sherman, the under secretary of state for policy, said in her office on Wednesday. With her departure, all the top officials who have negotiated with Iran over those two years will have left the administration, leaving questions about who will coordinate the complex process of carrying out a deal if one is struck by the deadline.

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