Fabius Says Iran Nuclear Deal 'Possible' but 'New Efforts' Needed

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A nuclear deal with Iran is possible but Tehran must make "new efforts" to clinch agreement, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said Friday.

"We wish to have an agreement and it is possible, but there has to be new progress," Fabius told reporters at U.N. headquarters ahead of his trip to Lausanne to join the talks now in their final stretch.

"There has to be new efforts from our Iranian partners."

The negotiations in Lausanne are aimed at agreeing by Tuesday the contours of a deal that world powers hope will thwart any Iranian drive to develop nuclear weapons. 

Iran has repeatedly denied that it is seeking to develop nuclear weapons.

Fabius suggested that the March 31 deadline was not final, saying "the important thing is the content, not the deadline."

"There has been some progress," he added. "There are still things that have to be solved."

The foreign minister called for a "robust agreement" that sets out clear requirements on Iran to allow transparency of its program and sets limits on nuclear uses for research and development.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said following talks with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Lausanne that the negotiations were "difficult."

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani spoke with the French foreign minister and other world leaders but his message was "not very precise," Fabius said.

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