Ministers and experts are in a flurry of meetings as talks over Iran's disputed nuclear program enter their eighth day. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: Major powers and Iran negotiated into the early hours of Thursday (April 2) on Tehran's nuclear program two days past their deadline, with diplomats saying prospects for a preliminary agreement were finely balanced between success and collapse. The negotiations, aimed at blocking Iran's capacity to build a nuclear bomb in exchange for lifting sanctions, have become bogged down over crucial details of the accord, even as the broad outlines of an agreement have been reached. Negotiators talked until 6 a.m. (0400 GMT) on Thursday in the Swiss city of Lausanne, breaking off for three hours to rest. There were differing accounts of the extent of progress, with Iran's Foreign Minister Mohamad Javad Zarif calling it 'significant' but a Western official describing it as 'limited'. Ministers and experts shuffled from meeting to meeting overnight as talks entered their eighth day. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry held meetings throughout the night with his Iranian, German and French counterparts, and European Union negotiator Helga Schmid. Kerry and German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said they would stay at least until Thursday in an effort to seal the "political" agreement, a milestone towards a final pact due by the end of June. Six world powers - the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China - aim to stop Iran from gaining the capacity to develop a nuclear bomb. Tehran wants to lift international sanctions that have crippled its economy, while preserving what it views as its right to nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.