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Zarif calls on US to make 'difficult decisions' to advance nuclear talks

US, Iran negotiators say it is unclear if the other is ready to make the tough choices needed to reach an acceptable final nuclear agreement.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif talks to journalists as he arrives at his embassy in Vienna June 16, 2014. Zarif is in Vienna for a new round of talks between world powers and Iran on Tehran's contested nuclear programme. REUTERS/Heinz-Peter Bader (AUSTRIA - Tags: POLITICS ENERGY) - RTR3U1EB

Vienna — As Iran final deal talks enter the one-month endgame, Iran and US negotiators staked out tough public positions and challenged the other side to make difficult decisions or risk seeing a historic opportunity elude them once again.

“We will not retreat from our [positions],” Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said in a blustery press conference to Iranian journalists Friday (June 20), at the conclusion of five days of talks here. Negotiators from Iran and the six world powers (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany, or P5+1) said they would return to Vienna for marathon nuclear talks beginning July 2 that are expected to last until the July 20 deadline when a six-month interim deal expires.

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