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Kerry Working on Iran Nuke Deal        03/03 06:20

   Senior U.S. and Iranian officials kicked off the second day of the latest 
round of nuclear negotiations here on Tuesday as Israel's leader prepared to 
deliver a speech to Congress denouncing a potential deal as dangerous to the 
Jewish state and the world.

   MONTREUX, Switzerland (AP) -- Senior U.S. and Iranian officials kicked off 
the second day of the latest round of nuclear negotiations here on Tuesday as 
Israel's leader prepared to deliver a speech to Congress denouncing a potential 
deal as dangerous to the Jewish state and the world.

   As Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad 
Zarif and their teams sought to hammer out an agreement at a luxury hotel in 
the Swiss resort of Montreux, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was set 
to make his case against one 4,090 miles away in Washington.

   The U.S. and Iranian sides met for two hours on Tuesday morning before 
taking a break, according to U.S. officials. The officials said they expected 
the talks would resume later and likely continue through Netanyahu's address to 
a joint session of Congress, which will be delivered in the late afternoon 
local time in Montreux.

   "We're working away, productively," Kerry told reporters.

   "We are moving and we are talking to be able to make progress," said Zarif. 
"There are issues and we want to address them. But there is a seriousness that 
we need to move forward. As we have said all along we need the necessary 
political will to understand that the only way to move forward is to negotiate."

   However, in a sign that Netanyahu's speech is resonating outside Washington, 
Zarif decried comments that President Barack Obama made on Monday --- as part 
of an administration-wide effort to push back on the Israeli's criticism --- in 
which he said that Iran would have to suspend its nuclear activities for at 
least a decade as part of any final agreement.

   "It is clear that Obama's stance is aimed at confronting propaganda by 
Zionist regime's prime minister and other extremist opponents of the 
negotiations," Zarif told Iranian reporters, calling it "unacceptable and 
threatening." Zarif's remarks were carried by Iran's official news agency IRNA.

   The U.S., Iran and other world powers are racing to meet an end-of-March 
target to reach the outline of deal, with a July deadline for a final agreement 
that would put constraints on Tehran's nuclear program in exchange for 
sanctions relief.


(KA)


 
 
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