Iran's Zarif seeks progress in nuclear talks with Kerry

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said his pending meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday was important to see if progress could be made in narrowing differences on his country`s disputed nuclear programme.

Geneva: Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said his pending meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday was important to see if progress could be made in narrowing differences on his country`s disputed nuclear programme.

Zarif, asked whether the session was key to setting the stage for the more detailed nuclear negotiations this week, told reporters minutes before his encounter with Kerry in Geneva, "I think it`s important. I think it will show the readiness of the two parties to move forward and to speed up the process."

Iran and six world powers including Washington have renewed their quest for an elusive nuclear deal after negotiators failed for the second time in November to meet a self-imposed deadline.

The sought-after agreement, whose new deadline is June 30, would gradually end sanctions imposed on Iran in exchange for verifiable curbs on its uranium enrichment programme to ensure it cannot be put to developing nuclear bombs. Tehran says it wants only civilian nuclear energy.

Zarif, asked if he hoped they could reach agreement by July 1, said, "That`s why we are here. We`ll see.

"I think we would have a much safer, much more prudent world if we were to engage in serious dialogue, serious debate about our differences, and then we will find out that what binds us together is far greater than what divides us," he said.