U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew delivers a speech to the U.S.-Israel Joint Economic Development Group in Jerusalem June 18, 2014. REUTERS/Baz Ratner
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Racing against the clock, nuclear talks between Iran and six world powers appeared to be tough going Thursday, with both sides warning of major differences as they tried to draft an accord.The hoped-for agreement would see Iran scale back its nuclear program in order to ease fears it is seeking atomic weapons.Iran, which has seen its relations with the West thaw somewhat since the 2013 election of President Hassan Rouhani, wants painful U.N. and Western sanctions lifted. Beyond agreeing a title for the accord, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that "fundamental differences" were dividing the two sides and that the talks were "very difficult".A Western diplomat said that Iran was refusing to budge on most issues and echoed that drafting language in the text on the "complex issues" had not begun.
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