Still 'tough choices' for Iran in nuclear talks: US

16th March 2015, Comments 0 comments

Iran still needs to make "very tough" choices before a nuclear deal can be struck, a senior US official said Monday after five hours of talks between Secretary of State John Kerry and his Iranian counterpart.

"Iran still needs to make some very tough and necessary choices to address the significant concerns that remain about its nuclear programme," the diplomat said in Switzerland where the talks were being held.

Iran and six world powers are pushing to reach by the end of the month what the official called a "political framework that addresses the major elements of a comprehensive deal".

Such an accord would reduce in scale Iran's nuclear programme in order to ease fears that it might develop atomic weapons in exchange for sanctions relief. A full deal is due by July.

"We still hope to be able to get there but quite frankly we still don't know if we will be able to," the official said on condition of anonymity.

"We don't know yet whether those (final) pieces are just too hard."

Earlier Monday Kerry met with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in the Swiss city of Lausanne before the latter left for Brussels for talks with European foreign ministers.

Zarif was due to return late Monday and hold further talks with Kerry on Tuesday.

© 2015 AFP

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