Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, EU envoy Catherine Ashton, Omani Foreign Minister Yussef bin Alawi and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Muscat November 9, 2014. (REUTERS/Nicholas Kamm)
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The United States and Iran held high-level talks in Oman Sunday ahead of a looming deadline for a nuclear deal, but President Barack Obama warned that a "big gap" remained.U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in the Gulf sultanate, with both sides facing political pressure at home over the long-running negotiations which have appeared close to deadlock for months. Iran and world powers have set Nov. 24 as a deadline to turn an interim agreement into a long-term settlement, but Obama warned it may not be possible. Kerry and Zarif met for three hours in Muscat with former EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, the lead negotiator in the talks, also present.No statements were made before the main talks resumed. If talks go sour in the coming weeks it is thought the U.S. Congress may respond with fresh sanctions on Iran.
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