Iran upbeat on nuclear talks: ‘We can make progress’

ROME - Iran can make serious progress in talks on resolving a standoff over its nuclear ambitions at a meeting of world powers in Geneva this week, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Tuesday.

Speaking in Rome before flying to Geneva, Zarif said there was "every possibility'' of a successful conclusion to the talks with the six world powers provided there was good faith and the political will to resolve problems by all sides.

“I'm willing to accept serious progress instead of an agreement but I'm certain that, with the necessary political will, we can make progress and even reach an agreement,'' he said.

The comments came after senior U.S. officials said Friday they were "getting close” to a deal on a first step towards a larger agreement that would ease the international communities concerns over Iran’s disputed program.

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It is thought the first step deal would include sanctions relief for Tehran.

“For the first time in nearly a decade, we are getting close to a first step toward a comprehensive agreement that would stop the Iranian nuclear program from advancing - and roll it back in key areas," a senior U.S. official said Friday.