U.S. and Iranian foreign ministers wrap up three days of talks over Iran's nuclear program, a day after Israeli PM Netanyahu said the deal being negotiated was a serious mistake. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION). STORY: The U.S. and Iranian foreign ministers wrapped up three days of talks on Wednesday (March 4) over Iran's nuclear program, a day after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the deal being negotiated was a serious mistake. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Iran's Mohammad Javad Zarif have negotiated for more than 10 hours since Monday in the Swiss lakeside town of Montreux, hoping to work out a framework deal by late March. "We have made some progress but have a lot of challenges yet ahead," a senior U.S. State Department official told reporters traveling with Kerry. "The bottom line here is that (there is) no deal to announce to anybody today, but very intense, hard work, some progress, but tough challenges yet to be resolved," the official said. "We expect that we (and the Iranians) will regroup bilaterally, with the European Union present as well, on the 15th of March, location to be confirmed but most likely Geneva." Asked if he thought they had made progress, Zarif told reporters in Montreaux: "We have, but a lot of work remains." Iran and world powers are trying to put a framework agreement in place by the end of the month, despite the misgivings of Israel, U.S. congressional Republicans and some Gulf Arab states. Such an accord would be followed by a comprehensive agreement to be completed by the end of June. The aim of the negotiations is to persuade Iran to restrain its nuclear program in exchange for relief from sanctions that have crippled the oil exporter's economy. The United States and some of its allies, notably Israel, suspect Iran of using its civil nuclear program as a cover to develop a nuclear weapons capability. Iran denies this, saying it is for peaceful purposes such as generating electricity.