US Secretary of State John Kerry (C) is pictured during an Iran nuclear talks meeting with the Iranian Foreign Minister in Vienna on July 3, 2015. AFP PHOTO / POOL / CARLOS BARRIA
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A year and half of nuclear talks between Iran and major powers were creeping toward the finish line Friday as negotiators wrestled with sticking points including questions about Tehran's past atomic research.Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said a deal had never been closer. U.S., European and Iranian officials, including U.S. Under Secretary of State Wendy Sherman and Iranian deputy foreign ministers Abbas Araqchi and Majid Takhteravanchi, held a six-hour negotiating session that ended at 3 a.m. Friday, a senior U.S. official said.Western and Iranian officials said there were signs of a compromise emerging on one of the major sticking points: access to Iranian sites to monitor compliance with a future agreement.A senior Iranian official in Vienna said Thursday that Iran would sign up to an IAEA inspection regime called the Additional Protocol, which would be provisionally implemented at the start of a deal and later ratified by Iran's parliament.
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