Middle East

Iran nuclear deal 'very likely' by July deadline: Rouhani

The President of Iran Hassan Rouhani (C) arrives for a press conference after attending the fourth Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) summit at the Expo Center in Shanghai on May 22, 2014. AFP PHOTO/Mark RALSTON

SHANGHAI: Talks between Tehran and six world powers on a comprehensive deal over its nuclear program are "very likely" to reach a successful conclusion by a July 20 deadline, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Thursday.

"We are very likely to come to an agreement by the end of July," Rouhani told reporters in Shanghai, speaking in Farsi through a translator. "We can achieve this."

His comments came after an apparently largely fruitless fourth round of negotiations in Vienna last week.

But the UN atomic watchdog said Wednesday that Iran has agreed to address some of the many long-held allegations that it conducted research into making nuclear weapons before 2003 and possibly since.

The International Atomic Energy Agency said that Iran, which denies ever having sought nuclear weapons, has undertaken to implement "practical measures" by August 25.

"It takes time" to resolve outstanding issues, Rouhani said after he attended a regional security forum in China earlier this week.

"We cannot expect it to be resolved in a few meetings."





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