[QODLink]
Middle East

Iran praises talks but Kerry warns of 'gaps'

Foreign Minister Zarif hailed the "good exchange" but the US said there was still work to do to reach a nuclear deal.

Last updated: 15 Jul 2014 14:18
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Kerry said the talks had made progress but there remained 'very real gaps' in key issues [EPA]

The Iranian foreign minister has said he held good talks with his US counterpart over Tehran's nuclear programme.

Mohammad Javad Zarif met US Secretary of State John Kerry in Vienna on Tuesday, less than a week before a July 20 deadline on reaching an agreement on ending the dispute.

Despite the "good exchange of views", the US had to take a political decision to end the deadlock, Zarif said, without giving further details, according to Iran's official news agency IRNA.

Iran's top diplomat said serious discussions now needed to take place at the level of political directors, referring to senior foreign ministry officials leading the delegations, the Reuters news agency reported.

Very real gaps

Speaking to reporters after the talks, Kerry said the parties had made "progress" during the negotiations but there were issues that remained unresolved.

"We have all lived up to our obligations but it is clear we have more work to do," Kerry said, adding there remained "very real gaps in key issues."

The secretary of state said he would return to the US to consult President Barack Obama about the state of the negotiations and the possibility of extending talks past the deadline so negotiations could continue.

Iran and six world powers including the United States, France, Russia, China, Britain and Germany, are trying to narrow wide differences over Iran's nuclear programme and reach a long-term agreement by a self-imposed July 20 deadline.

The powers want Tehran to significantly scale back its nuclear enrichment programme to make sure it cannot yield nuclear bombs.

Iran's priority is to get sanctions that have severely damaged its oil-dependent economy lifted as soon as possible.

263

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Featured on Al Jazeera
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
The new military government has issued warnings that it will soon start to clampdown on immigration offenders.
As Snowden awaits Russian visa renewal, the world mulls role of NSA and expects more revelations from document trove.
A handful of agencies that provide tours to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea say business is growing.
A political power struggle masquerading as religious strife grips Nigeria - with mixed-faith couples paying the price.
The current surge in undocumented child migrants from Central America has galvanized US anti-immigration groups.
join our mailing list