Iran's Foreign Minister Zarif voices optimism over nuclear deal saying, ''I think there is every indication that we can in fact move forward.'' Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Saturday (March 28) reiterated his country's desire to break an impasse in nuclear negotiations, as major powers and Iran closed in on a two or three-page accord that could form the basis of a long-term deal. The Foreign Ministers of France and Germany joined the top U.S. and Iranian diplomats for the negotiations, in progress for nearly 18 months, as they aim to hammer out an accord whereby Iran halts sensitive nuclear work in exchange for the lifting of sanctions, with the ultimate aim of reducing the risk of a war in the Middle East. "We are prepared to work diligently in order to move forward, and I think there is every indication that we can in fact move forward. As I've said, all alone, Iran has made a decision, a political decision, to go for engagement. I believe our negotiating partners also need to make this decision, I believe they have realized that sanctions, pressure and an agreement will not go together, it's only to translate that into the signing of the agreement we are now negotiating. I believe we have made progress, I see that Germany and France are really serious about reaching an agreement, and I hope we can all work together in order to reach that agreement because I know that the seriousness on our side is there and I hope that this decision can be made by our negotiating partners to finish this," Iran's foreign minister told Reuters. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Zarif have been in Lausanne for days to try to reach an outline agreement by a self-imposed deadline of Tuesday (March 31). While Tehran and the six major powers - the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China - could clinch the preliminary framework accord in the coming days, several sticking points remain that could prevent a deal, officials close to the talks said. Iran denies any ambition to build nuclear weapons and says its atomic program is for purely civilian purposes.