Iran's Salehi says 'optimistic' on nuclear deal
Iran's nuclear chief told AFP Thursday that he was "optimistic" about reaching a potentially historic nuclear deal with world powers despite external interference from those opposed to a deal.
"On the whole I am optimistic... but internationally those who have an interest in more troubles and not dealing with this question have not been inactive. They are trying to make sure there is no deal," Ali Akbar Salehi said.
"The Islamic Republic of Iran has demonstrated its political will and it is up to the other side to take a step forward and show that it has the political will to allow a resolution of the problem," Salehi told AFP.
The comments were made on the sidelines of crunch talks in Switzerland between senior officials from Iran, the United States and five other world powers including US Secretary of State John Kerry and his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif.
Having failed twice in 2014 to reach a deal reining in Iran's nuclear programme to ease fears that it might develop atomic weapons after 12 years of rising tensions, the parties have set themselves a March 31 target to agree the outlines of an accord.
© 2015 AFP