LAUSANNE, Switzerland — Iran and six world powers resumed nuclear talks on Wednesday, hours after an earlier deadline passed without an agreement.
President Barack Obama was briefed overnight by video teleconference on the latest from the negotiations, where diplomats from Iran and the so-called P5+1 countries — the U.S., China, Russia, Germany, France and Britain — are trying to hammer out the framework of an agreement that would limit Iran's nuclear program in exchange for an easing of sanctions.
While Tuesday at midnight local time was the self-imposed deadline, State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said that "enough progress" had been made to "merit staying" in Switzerland for talks until Wednesday.
Secretary of State John Kerry started his day Wednesday by meeting with his Iranian counterpart, Javad Zarif.
As the talks continued, disagreements remained over how to deal with Iran's stockpile of enriched uranium, how much work Iran can do in future years on advanced centrifuges and how quickly to remove economic sanctions that have crippled Iran's economy.
The negotiators were working to finalize language in a statement that could come later in the day — barring complications — that would close the round of talks but leave several key issues to be decided in the coming months.
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu call on negotiators to seek a "better deal" than what was on the table.
"The concessions offered to Iran in Lausanne would ensure a bad deal that would endanger Israel, the Middle East and the peace of the world," he said in a statement. "A better deal would significantly roll back Iran's nuclear infrastructure. A better deal would link the eventual lifting of the restrictions on Iran's nuclear program to a change in Iran's behavior."
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