Washington: US President Barack Obama on Sunday said there are significant gaps with Iran on the negotiations of a possible nuclear deal and he is looking forward to the possibility of a permanent deal.
Iran and the P5+1 countries represented by the US, Britain, France, China, Russia and Germany along with the European Union are currently having tough negotiations in Vienna on the Iranian nuclear deal so that they could meet the deadline of November 24.
"It's too early to tell," Obama said when asked if the November 24 deadline would be met.
"The good news is that the interim deal that we entered into has definitely stopped Iran's nuclear program from advancing, and in some cases has actually rolled back some of the things that they were doing ? their stockpiles, for example, how they enriched uranium".
"So it's been successful, and Iran has followed the terms of the deal," said the US President in response to a question.
"So, now the question is, can we get to a more permanent deal. The gaps are still significant," Obama said.
"I think that our goal has consistently been to shut off a whole bunch of different avenues whereby Iran might get a nuclear weapon, and at the same time make sure that the structure of sanctions are rolled back step for step as Iran is doing what it's supposed to do".
"I think Iran would love to see the sanctions end immediately, and then to still have some avenues that might not be completely closed, and we can't do that," Obama said.
"So the good news is that the negotiations continue, and most importantly, that the international coalition that has made sanctions so effective has held", he added.
The P5+1 has held. Russia and China, you know where we often have tensions, with Russia big tensions lately ? nevertheless they've acknowledged that our position is a fair one, and the question now just becomes, "Can Iran say yes," and they've got their own hardliners," Obama said.
Obama also said he is confident that if they reach a deal that is verifiable and ensures that Iran does not have breakout capacity, that not only can he persuade Congress and the American people that lifting of sanctions is the right thing to do.
"Our goal is never to resort to military actions as a first resort: our goal is to solve a particular problem here, which is making sure Iran doesn't trigger a nuclear arms race, can?t threaten the United States, can't threaten allies like Israel", the President said.
"I think ultimately that would be good for the people of Iran. You know it's a big country with a lot of talent, a lot of sophistication," he added.