Nightly News   |  November 08, 2013

US talks with Iran: a first step in curtailing nuclear program?

For the first time since the hostage crisis of the 70s, the US and Iran are talking at the highest levels, but distrust of Iran runs deep, especially in Israel. NBC’s Ann Curry reports.

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>> there are signals the u.s. could be close to an agreement with iran about its nuclear capability. a major push now as secretary of state john kerry unexpectedly traveled to switzerland where high level talks are being held to save the deal. ann curry broke the new that is the secretary was on his way there. she's with us tonight live from geneva . ann, good evening.

>> reporter: good evening to you. that's right. a dramatic day in geneva where routine nuclear talks with iran suddenly got on the fast track with the signs that a deal could be signed within hours. one by one they came. secretary of state kerry, his counterparts from britain, france, and germany. it all raised expectations that kerry felt obliged to lower.

>> there are still some very important issues on the table that are unresolved.

>> reporter: for the first time since the hostage crisis of the '70s, the u.s. and iran are really talking at the highest levels, making progress toward a first step to curtail iran's nuclear program and get a temporary retrieve for economic sanctions. distrust of iran runs deep, especially in israel.

>> iran got the deal of the century and the international community got a bad deal. this is a very bad deal.

>> reporter: netanyahu called the proposed deal a mistake of historic proportions prompting a sharp rebuke from iran .

>> it is a mistake to trade in fear, to create an atmosphere of tension. i believe it would be an even bigger historic mistake to listen to him.

>> reporter: president obama insists any deal with iran will be subject to verification.

>> we don't have to trust them. what we have to do is make sure that there is a good deal in place from the perspective of us verifying what they are doing.

>> reporter: any deal could be a hard sell , including in iran . where hard liners this week denounced the negotiations. adding to the drama here, the two-day negotiations are spilling into a third day. now word that russia's foreign minister lavrov will join tomorrow. that six foreign ministers worked on breaking the impasse. brian?

>> ann curry live from geneva