US official says will be difficult to achieve agreement with Iran by deadline

By REUTERS
November 19, 2014 22:52

 
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It now appears difficult to reach a comprehensive nuclear deal with Iran by a Nov. 24 deadline but it is not impossible, US Deputy National Security Adviser Tony Blinken told lawmakers.

"Right now, I think it's going to be difficult to get to where we want to go. It's not impossible," Blinken, who is US President Barack Obama's choice to be deputy secretary of state, said at his nomination hearing for the diplomatic post.

Blinken put the onus on Tehran, rather than on Washington, to achieve an agreement, which is being negotiated with Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States.

Reaching a deal "depends entirely on whether Iran is willing to take the steps it must take to convince us, to convince our partners, that its program would be for entirely peaceful purposes," he said. "As we speak, we're not there."

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