Nuclear progress not significant: Iran President Rouhani

Iran's President has said that progress so far in nuclear talks with six major powers "has not been significant," and the pace must be speeded up if the November 24 deadline for a final agreement is to be reached.

New York: Iran's President has said that progress so far in nuclear talks with six major powers "has not been significant," and the pace must be speeded up if the November 24 deadline for a final agreement is to be reached.

Hassan Rouhani told a news conference "there have been steps forward, but they haven't been significant."

Talks between experts from the six powers and Iran have been held on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly's ministerial meeting, but an expected meeting of foreign ministers was called off yesterday. France's Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said the reason was a lack of "significant advances."

Rouhani said, nonetheless, that Iran believes "the serious will does exist" to reach an agreement.

"Every side must show courage, the will, the strength ... along with the appropriate needed action and the needed flexibility," he said. "If we can do this, we will reach our objective."

Rouhani said Iran has made clear that it has the needed flexibility.

"Now it's up to the counterparts and interlocutors to show the same level of flexibility," he said. "And the ball is in the interlocutors' court."

Rouhani said Iran will never accept any agreement that requires it to stop enriching uranium, and that sanctions by the US, the European Union and the United Nation must "be melted away."

The Iranian leader also addressed the global terrorist threat and relations with the United States in the hour-long press conference.

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