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Iran's foreign minister suggested Friday that a nuclear deal with the West has "never been closer," and a "good deal" would open the door to his nation's cooperation in the global fight against terrorism.
It's the first time that Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has made any mention of taking part in combating violent extremists.
"We are ready to strike a balanced and good deal and open new horizons to address important common challenges," Zarif says in English in a YouTube video tweeted out.
"Our common threat today is the growing menace of violent extremism and outright barbarism," Zarif adds, hinting at the terror network ISIS. "The menace we're facing — and I say we, because no one is spared — is embodied by the hooded men who are ravaging the cradle of civilization. To deal with this new challenge, new approaches are badly needed."
The four-minute-long clip is part of an apparent effort by Iran to use social media to blame the U.S if the nuclear talks fall apart.
A senior U.S. administration official responding to the video rejected the idea of discussing anything other than the nuclear talks during this "working hard phase of this process," but did not rule out future cooperation with Iran.
The talks between Iran, the U.S. and five other world powers were extended until Tuesday, as the countries seek to hammer out a deal that would keep Iran from developing nuclear weapons. In exchange, economic sanctions would be lifted.
After months of slow-going negotiations, President Barack Obama has still warned that he is willing to “walk away” if Iran doesn’t accept certain criteria.
In the video, Zarif took a dig at the U.S-led talks, claiming that his country was being coerced to accept a deal through military pressure and sanctions.
"I see hope, because I see the emergence of reason over illusion,” Zarif said. “I sense that my negotiating partners have realized that coercion and pressure never lead to lasting solutions, but to more conflict and further hostility.”