U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says "serious gaps" remain in talks between Iran and world powers, as a crucial deadline looms to reach a comprehensive deal on Iran's nuclear program.
Kerry made his remarks Saturday in Vienna as he was about to begin closed-door talks with German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who said the negotiations had reached the "hours of truth."
Steinmeier said the main question is if Iran is ready to end its research on acquiring a nuclear weapon.
A source close to the Iranian delegation at the talks also told the French news agency ((AFP)) the gap remains big. The source said the only scenario for a deal would be one based on a general framework with details to be filled in later.
Officials have been engaged in intense closed-door negotiations Saturday in Vienna with an eye on Monday's deadline.
Kerry previously spoke by phone with his international partners and colleagues in Washington. He and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif remained in Vienna overnight Friday to try to narrow gaps in the negotiations.
The secretary of state has said the United States and its P5 Plus 1 allies - Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia - are focused on the November 24 deadline and are not considering an extension.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in Moscow all the elements for a deal are already "on the table." He said negotiators need the political will to reach a balanced result and avoid what he says is last-minute haggling over unrealistic issues.
British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond says it is Iran that needs to show the political will.
A nuclear agreement would lift some sanctions against Iran in exchange for Iran curbing its uranium enrichment program.
The United States has long accused Iran of seeking to build a nuclear weapon - a charge Iran denies. It insists its nuclear program is for peaceful civilian purposes.
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