Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Tuesday denied U.S. claims that the Islamic republic had scuttled nuclear talks in Geneva, pointing instead to France as the culprit.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said in Abu Dhabi on Monday Iran had balked at the Geneva talks just as world powers were closing in on a deal to curb Tehran's nuclear programme in return for sanctions relief.

"The P5+1 was unified on Saturday when we presented our proposal to the Iranians... But Iran couldn't take it," said Kerry, who took part in the high-level talks.

Zarif, on his Twitter account, alluded to comments by French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, who has been pilloried in the Iranian media after reports emerged that he scuppered a potential deal.

"Mister Secretary of State, is it Iran which changed half the text of the Americans on Thursday and made contrary statements on Friday morning?" Zarif asked.

Late Monday, Zarif, played down Kerry's remarks.

"If we want to be fair, sometimes these comments are made to address certain concerns, or those of the hosting country," the foreign minister said.AFP