Tehran: Iran`s President Hassan Rouhani said Monday that a nuclear deal with world powers would be done despite a missed deadline in Vienna that prompted a seven-month extension in talks.
"This path of negotiation will reach a final agreement. Most of the gaps have been removed," he said on state television, referring to the main differences that have so far prevented an interim deal being turned into a comprehensive settlement.
Rouhani made the remarks in a short interview aired ahead of a scheduled live appearance to the nation due to start at 1800 GMT.
His comments were similar to those of US Secretary of State John Kerry who in Vienna said "real and substantial progress" had been made during almost a week of negotiations in the Austrian capital.
Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany will now seek to strike an outline deal by March 1 and to nail down a full technical accord by July 1, officials said.
Despite missing Monday`s deadline, the parties are working on the basis of an agreement struck a year ago that curbs some of Iran`s nuclear activities in exchange for limited sanctions relief.
Such a deal is aimed at easing fears that Tehran will develop nuclear weapons under the guise of its civilian activities, an ambition Iran denies. The talks will resume next month.
A final agreement could see painful sanctions on Iran lifted, silence talk of war and represent a groundbreaking political achievement for Rouhani and a foreign policy success for his US counterpart Barack Obama.